"One–eyed Person Passes the Test" by Do Myeong-hak
- onFebruary 17, 2015
- Vol.26 Winter 2014
- byDo Myeong-hak
One–eyed Person Passes the Test
by Do Myeong-hak
Though I’m one-eyed and unable to go to the army
my lot is better.
Classmates who used to mock me for being one-eyed
are being tortured in the army.
I do business, have love affairs, enjoy my life as it is.
Why has the party secretary called me suddenly?
They say a one-eyed guy like me can go to the army.
Hey, these are strange times.
Though I have no left eye, I can shoot all right.
If I had the right eye, I’d just pass the test!
The eyeball is like a bullet for a regular army.
One must dedicate to Kim Jong-il even the one eye left.
Now my lot is that of a dog without eyes.
adapted from North Korean Writers in Exile PEN Literature (2014 1st Issue p. 94)
* At the beginning of 2000, North Korea could not fulfill the needs of its armed forces so it lowered the standards for its recruits. Those with only a right eye passed the test because they could still shoot a gun.