October 1231, I Pass by Growth of Humanity Temple: Borrowing a Poem Written on a Wall

  • onNovember 15, 2014
  • Vol.24 Summer 2014
  • byHyesim
Magnolia & Lotus: Selected Poems of Hyesim
Tr. Ian Haight and T’ae-yŏng Hŏ


A stand of bamboo unifies a garden—
a salutary breeze drifts below a fence.
In the season of golden leaves, I regret the day’s brevity—
this night of silence—I want it to last.
Sun showers surround the Abbot’s quarters—
humid air entices the land.
Five days I’ve stayed, resting my staff and shoes—
such a delight when the world’s grace endures.


"This poem was written near the end of Hyesim's life. It has a tonal an thematic peace that suggests Hyesim had a deep appreciation for the beauty of the world, and possibly an awareness that his time in the world was coming to an end."

Translation note by Ian Haight