"North South East West" by Kim Kwang-Kyu

North South East West

 

 

In spring a flood of tender green goes rising,

spreading northward, northward.

Unhindered by barbed wire or military demarcation line

it journeys north.

Rising over mountains

crossing plains,

azaleas and forsythias cross the border north.

In summer the cuckoo’s call,

the croak of frogs,

are just the same in every place.

In fall a flood of golden hues comes dropping

spreading southward, southward.

Unhindered by demilitarized zone or lines forbidding access

it journeys south.

Crossing rivers

passing over valleys

cosmos flowers and crimson leaves cross the border south.

In winter the taste of ice-cold pickle

the taste of spicy morning soup

are just the same in every place.

North South East West: making no distinction,

covering everywhere alike

in white, no one can keep back

the snowstorm.