Categories
Poetry

Korean Poetry in Translation: Five Rupees

Ihlwha Choi translates his own poem set in Kolkata from Korean to English

Five rupees

In front of the house where Mother Teresa was laid to rest,
Several women took up their position at the entrance with
Young six or seven years olds.
Whenever I went near the house,
They gathered around me shouting -- five rupees –-
with palms open, arms outstretched.
I gave each of them one coin several times.
That became the source of the calamity.
Whenever they saw me in the morning or the evening,
They scrambled to get a coin.
Especially one woman with a baby around her waist,
Approached me more vehemently, shouting five rupees.
She followed me not only to the distance of ten or twenty meters,
But also to the other side of the road.
So I gave her several times more.
I forgot the guide's request that I must not give them,
Because someone had victimised them for wealth.
I felt very sorry to shake off the hands of the women.
It hurts to think of the young mothers,
Who seemed not to eat a plate of cereal all day,
And the baby who seemed to have no more tears to shed.

Ihlwha Choi is a South Korean poet. He has published multiple poetry collections, such as Until the Time When Our Love will Flourish, The Color of Time, His Song and The Last Rehearsal.

PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s