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POETRY

A Really Slow Slowness

  • onOctober 23, 2015
  • Vol.29 Autumn 2015
  • byLee Moon-jae
Now, Here Is the Very Front
2014

Outside the window, a magnolia was pushing forth white buds. I thought that the young flowers looked like toothpaste that spring has squeezed out. Ah, I overslept. Without time to brush my teeth, I rushed out.

Then, I realized that all roots were grabbing the earth with all their might. No flower was hiding itself under the sun. All stood agape, spreading themselves wide. It was an undeniable act of touting.

One spring morning when ten thousand flowers were luxuriantly open, the flowers turned up their volume to the maximum. But I couldn’t take part in the act of life. I had to be hurriedly sucked into the city. When I entered into Jayuro,* the car got stuck in traffic. It moved slower than the flowing river.

Slow things should be slow. But while I tell myself I need to slow down, slowing down is not at all possible. As there is no free freedom,** no slow slowness is to be found.
I have relied on myself too much.
 
 

*Literally it means “A Free Road.”
**Phrase borrowed from Yun Hobyeong’s The Language of Icon (2001).

 


Translated by Kim Won-Chung