[Throwback] First Poems I Wrote in English (2010-2011)

I thought I’d share some poems I wrote for the first time in English from five, six years ago. See, I couldn’t even imagine sharing these three years ago, but now these are antique (from 21 years old’s perspective)! Anyways, 2010-2011 was the first time I started to practice creative writing in English. I could write comfortably in English, but writing a creative piece was a completely different story.

As you can see in the first and the last poem, these poems were written in English but inevitably had some Korean elements:  “kudzu root” is often used as a symbol of hardship in Korea; one of the ways to say “blue pansy” in Korean is ‘앉은뱅이 꽃’, which literally means, “cripple flower”. I tried to create irony at the end of the poem, but the line ended up sounding just pretty with no significance.


The Story of “Hope” (April 2010)

my friend
was gone away

a country road
in his footprint
there was only a smell of grass
where he rubbed his cheek

‘can I get
at least a kudzu root?’
two days ago,
when he shook hands in a deep hole,
was a spring day
with a cold sunlight

and he flew away
stepping on clouds,
grabbing the white sky,
he fell down to the world
the guys in black came back
only with a dark blue song

So I write music
with white grass in his yard
on my friend’s coffin,
which will pass the bent road away,
winding and wandering
winding and wandering

as I wished,
with a singing crowd,
it will disappear
to the sky he went
That’s why music is written


From the Battle Field (09/04/2010)

from the heavy dawn
he came across
with a shining cloak
flag on his shoulder
see how bravely he came!
under the Napoleon’s hat
he came back to victory

and when the sunset
strokes the quiet land
I will go back there
my sweet little home
with dirt and dust
with maggots and a leech
this lonely body will go

if you find the shadow
walking from the death bed
please hug me to the chest
though make no whoop
wipe a hot tear out
and whisper in my ear,
I’m proud of you,
“my son.”


Requiem of Winter (12/23/2010)

my mom called it

last March
when sunshine blossoms
fell down to the terrace
my mom opened a window
with her white hands
and rubbed them smoothly

“they need bright lights
they need warm hugs”
when my mom touched
the light skin of Mother Nature
its silent heartbeats
filled our little space
from its strong roots
from its soft earth

as fall went by
its roots broke down
and left beneath my mom’s eyelids
only a deep bleak requiem
filled a big, empty space
lack of lights and hugs

Ah, wish I could kiss
the old, small breath
of thin shining leaves
with my hot tear,
what my mom called


Street Stalls (04/09/2011)

a street stall
is where bemoaned ones live

a sin for not being able to go to school
in younger years
a trespass for not being lucky enough
the taintless remnants
between cracks of their fingernails
to carve deep wrinkles on foreheads
to bleach the worn out mustaches
I want to breathe
I want to breathe
when the last bundle of dropworts
fills a damp plastic bag
the repenters become a violet blue pansy

the vendors on the street
become a shameless flower

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s