"ChaRyeong Mountain Range" by Ko Un

ChaRyeong Mountain Range




Let us not like distant mountains.

There are many lies in distant mountains.


let us now not like distant mountains.

Poets, seeds of our nation’s mind,

a catastrophe that should be prevented is coming again to us,

to nearby fields where harvest is done and sheaves of rice are piled,

into vast twilight.

What we have hitherto long rejoiced at in disgrace

and foolishness

has turned into distant mountains, growing dark.

It is growing dark on the Taebaek mountain range’...

Ko Un’s poetry collections have been translated into twenty-seven languages, east and west. English editions of his books include Ten Thousand Lives; Maninbo: Peace & War; First Person Sorrowful; Himalaya Poems; and What?: 108 Zen Poems. He has received several prestigious awards, such as the Golden Wreath Award at the 53rd Struga Poetry Evenings in Macedonia, the America Award, Griffin Poetry Prize Lifetime Recognition Award, Bjørnson Order for Literature, and the Republic of Korea’s Eungwan Order of Cultural Merit. His poems have been featured in PO&SIE, Chicago Review, World Literature Today, The New Yorker, Azalea, and Mānoa.