"Snow" by Shin Kyeong-nim




On the day my body ends its stay on earth

I will race out at full speed

from the body that held me captive

from the dark and stifling prison.


Stick to a tree and become a leaf

hang from a branch and become a flower, then

seep into the ground as water and soar in midair as wind.

I’ll be a bird and fly up to the Big Dipper, to Scorpio,

and into air scatter whitely in powdered silver.


I will not be sad. Even if my dreams in this world

leave nothing on earth but the trace of a tear

even if in the end, whatever those dreams were

is all forgotten when the time comes.



Translated by Sophie Bowman





Shin Kyeong-nim is a poet and Endowed Chair Professor at Dongguk University. He has won prestigious awards such as the Manhae Literature Prize, the Daesan Literary Award, and the Ho- Am Prize for the Arts. The Swedish Institute awarded him the Cikada Prize in 2007. The French edition of Dreams of the Fallen (Le Rêve d’un homme abattu: Choix de poèmes) was published by Éditions Gallimard.