Autumn Prayer

  • onDecember 21, 2017
  • Vol.38 Winter 2017
  • byKim Hyunseung
Autumn Prayer
Tr. Cho Young-Shil


In Autumn
let me pray . . .
Fill me with the humble mother tongue
bestowed on me at the fall of the leaves in time

In Autumn
let me love . . .

Embrace one only—
Plow this fertile
hour for the most beautiful fruit—

In Autumn
let me be solitary . . .
My soul,
like a raven who’s come through the sinuous waters
and the valley of lilies
to alight on a sapless bough



Translated by Cho Young-Shil

Author's Profile

Kim Hyunseung (1913–1975) made his literary debut in 1934 when his poem, “The Lonesome Winter Evening Comes, and You,” was carried in the Dong-A Ilbo newspaper. He stopped writing toward the end of the colonial period and only started writing again after independence. His notable works include Selected Poems of Kim Hyunseung, Robust Loneliness, Commentary on Contemporary Poetry, and Survey of World Literary History.