20s-30s / K-L / Poems in Korean Middle School Textbooks / Poetry Translation

Mother, Sister – Kim Sowol

Mother, Sister

Kim Sowol (1902-1934)

Mother, sister, let’s live by the riverside.
In the yard is the tinge of sparkling golden sand,
Outside the back door is the song of fallen leaves.
Mother, sister, let’s live by the riverside.

(Translated by Jido Ahn. March 2016)


Learn more about the poet: Kim Sowol (1902-1934)


엄마야 누나야

김소월 (1902~1934)

엄마야 누나야 江邊 살쟈,
뜰에는 반짝는 金모래빛,
뒷門 박게는 갈닙의 노래
엄마야 누나야 江邊 살쟈.

-《개벽》1922년 1월

Kim Sowol is one of the most famous poets in Korean literary history. His famous poem “Azaleas” has been performed by many different musicians. “Mother, Sister” is also well-known among Korean people. The poem became a children’s song in 1940s or so, and the song became one of the most loved children’s songs in Korea.

Agree or not, Kim is often appreciated the last poet to retain “traditional Korean voice” in his poems. He is also known to write in a feminine tone.


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