20s-30s / A-G / Poems in Korean Middle School Textbooks / Poetry Translation

Non-gae – Byun Yeongro

Non-gae

Byun Yeongro (1897-1961)

The divine fury
Is deeper than religion,
The burning passion
Is stronger than love.

Ay! The heart redder than a poppy
Shall flow
In the wave
Bluer than a bean flower.

Waving up high
Her beautiful slender eyebrows,
With the lips that look like a pomegranate,
She kissed the “death”!

Ay! The heart redder than a poppy
Shall flow
In the wave
Bluer than a bean flower.

When the flowing river
Will forever be blue,
How could your flowery soul
Not be red?

Ay! The heart redder than a poppy
Shall flow
In the wave
Bluer than a bean flower.

1923
(Translated by Jido Ahn. September 2016)

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논개(論介)

변영로

거룩한 분노는
종교보다도 깊고
불붙는 정열은
사랑보다도 강하다

아! 강낭콩꽃보다도 더 푸른
그 물결 위에
양귀비꽃보다도 더 붉은
그 마음 흘러라.

아리땁던 그 아미(蛾眉)
높게 흔들리우며
그 석류 속 같은 입술
‘죽음’을 입맞추었네!

아! 강낭콩꽃보다도 더 푸른
그 물결 위에
양귀비꽃보다도 더 붉은
그 마음 흘러라.

흐르는 강물은
길이길이 푸르리니
그대의 꽃다운 혼
어이 아니 붉으랴

아! 강낭콩꽃보다도 더 푸른
그 물결 위에
양귀비꽃보다도 더 붉은
그 마음 흘러라.

 

Nongae is often celebrated for sacrificing her life to save a country from Japanese invasion in 1500s. To assassinate a Japanese general, she threw herself with him to a river in Jinju. For more information, click here.

Source of the photo: Bucheon Times

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