A Bell Ringing

  • onJanuary 5, 2017
  • Vol.34 Winter 2016
  • byShin Dalja


Do you hear the bell ringing inside a sheet of paper?

The bell ringing at the very moment
when you give up the heated cravings of greed
in front of a sheet of paper
with nothing visible,
nothing audible.

Before the sheet of paper that faces us sincerely,
having come past noise flapping like rags around the ears,
walking through the forest of buildings rising like rage
where lights glimmer, more eye-stabbing still at sunset,
heavy shoulders drooping,

When the word ‘purity,’ wrapped in clear plastic and frozen,
softens and melts,
with the energy of someone hot after rubbing hands together,
approaching green through those dark underground depths,
the bell ringing in my heart.

The bell is ringing.


Translated by Brother Anthony of Taizé and Chung Eun-Gwi




Author's Profile

Shin Dalja is a member of the National Academy of Arts, and has served as the chair of the Society of Korean Poets. She has received the Republic of Korea’s Eungwan (Silver Crown) Order of Cultural Merit, the Chong Chi-Yong Literature Prize, the Daesan Literary Award, and the Gong Cho Literature Award. Her poetry collection Paper has been translated into Mongolian and Spanish, and Passionate Love into German.