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

The Buddhist Nun – Baek Seok

The Buddhist Nun

Baek Seok (1912-1995?)

The Buddhist nun joined her hands and bowed.
She smelled like a wild aster.
Her forlorn face was aged like old days.
I became sorrowful like a sutra.

At the gold mine of a mountain in Pyongan,
I bought a corn from a pallid woman.
Slapping her little daughter, the woman cried coldly like an autumn night.

It has been ten years since her husband left like a hornet.
The husband has not returned,
And her little daughter left to the stone tomb, for she liked bellflowers.

There was a day when a wild pheasant grievously cried.
There was a day when the woman’s hair dropped like teardrops.

(Translated by Jido Ahn. August 2017)


Learn more about the poet: Baek Seok (1912-1995?)



백석 (1912~1995?)


여승은 합장하고 절을 했다.
가지취의 내음새가 났다.
쓸쓸한 낯이 옛날같이 늙었다.
나는 불경처럼 서러워졌다.

평안도의 어느 산(山) 깊은 금덤판
나는 파리한 여인에게서 옥수수를 샀다.
여인은 나어린 딸아이를 따리며 가을밤같이 차게 울었다.

섶벌같이 나아간 지아비 기다려 십 년(十年)이 갔다.
지아비는 돌아오지 않고.
어린 딸은 도라지꽃이 좋아 돌무덤으로 갔다.

산꿩도 섧게 울은 슬픈 날이 있었다.
산 절의 마당귀에 여인이 머리 오리가 눈물 방울과 같이 떨어진 날이 있었다.


Source of the image: Baekseok University Modern Poetry Memorial (This university is unrelated to the poet Baek Seok)

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