Two Po e m s b y Je an- Mar i e G ust ave L e C l é zi o Translated by K.E. Duffin K o re a f ro m th e O ut si d e Extreme east, E xt re m e w e st ( an h istori c o - drea m p oem) At an altitude of 12,000 meters at 0 miles an hour with a headwind of 0 km/h in four hours' time I pass over the ice bridge, the white lakes, the forests the tundra there where they crossed for thousands of years around twenty-six million years ago (during the Würm glaciation) men women small children old women, old men who discovered the new world 69 In spring when the buttercups were blooming and when the shrubs were filling with berries they would resume their trek in the direction of the rising sun Each morning, folding sorghum stalks securing provisions of smoked beef in baskets of dry leaves, carrying the eternal ember enclosed in its nest of willow and flints strapped to the backs of old men Infants were whimpering in their cradles of reindeer skin Mist was
Azalea: Journal of Korean Literature & Culture – University of Hawai'I Press
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