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POETRY

Listening to “A Survivor from Warsaw” by Schoenberg

  • onOctober 21, 2015
  • Vol.29 Autumn 2015
  • byHwang Tong-gyu
Strong Winds at Mishi Pass
Tr. Kim Seong-Kon and Dennis Maloney
2001
118pp.

 

Those not destroyed in the face of death are beautiful.
Even in movies about war,
There’s beauty in refusing to collapse, choosing death.
Almost collapsing, still flowing, it never overflows,
This elaborate twelve-tone piece!
When we walk inside music
We become bright lights.

Author's Profile

Hwang Tong-gyu is a professor emeritus at Seoul National University and chairperson of the literature department at the National Academy of Arts. He was a visiting professor at UC Berkeley and NYU, and participated in the University of Iowa's International Writing Program. He has received the Lee San Literature Prize, Daesan Literary Award, Midang Literary Award, and Eungwan Order of Cultural Merit. His books of poems have been translated into English, German, French, and Spanish.