Beside a Chrysanthemum

  • onJune 1, 2015
  • Vol.25 Autumn 2014
  • bySŏ Chŏngju
Selected Poems of Sŏ Chŏngju
Tr. David R. McCann


To bring one chrysanthemum
to flower, the cuckoo has cried
since spring.
To bring one chrysanthemum to bloom,
thunder has rolled
through the black clouds.
Flower, like my sister returning
from distant, youthful byways
of throat-tight longing
to stand by the mirror:
for your yellow petals to open,
last night such a frost fell,
and I did not sleep.