by Chn Pyng-gu Translated by Chae-Pyong Song On the hill of Kwansan port, overgrown with weeds, Where the dividing line crosses, Hoo-doo-dook, Hoo-doo-dook, Falling Persimmons. Where only the house remains, its owner gone, A persimmon tree already for many years Has been solely ripening persimmons, And dropping them without sympathy. If I reach out a hand, I could quickly pick one red, juicy persimmon, But the barbed wire that pierces the heart Blocks even one step. The piteous persimmon tree, You too suffer the pain of division. When will you summon the owner? When will the day come when he, riding on your branches, will Pick out persimmons with pleasure? With the wedding celebration table Neatly piled with those appealing persimmons This village's lasses, they say, Went to P'aju, across the Imjin River, to their grooms; Their faces, red like persimmons, Must be deeply wrinkled by now. Where are the brides of those days? Though I search beyond the river, I can't see them. The red persimmons that I could embrace only in dreams, Hoo-doo-dook, Hoo-doo-dook. They strike this heart; They strike this peninsula, Crying for the owner, crying for unification. Hoo-doo-dook, Hoo-doo-dook. Ah, the falling persimmons.
Azalea: Journal of Korean Literature & Culture – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Jan 28, 2008