Friday, May 16, 2008

The Thorn Bird

The thorn bird (1988)

Inside of me,
there is so much of myself, I have no place for you to rest,
with vain hopes, there is no place you can feel comfortable.

Inside of me,
the darkness I can’t manage steals the place you can rest,
the sadness I can’t overcome is like a thick thorny forest.

When the wind blew,
dried branches were rubbing against each other, crying.
The little tired birds which had come to rest, flew away, hurt by thorns.

When the wind blew,
I was lonely and distressed, so I sang sad songs for many days.
Inside of me, there is so much of myself, I have no place for you to rest.


Deokgyu Ha (1958 - )

He was born in Sokcho, east coast of Korea, which has beautiful mountains and sea. The natural background and his childhood memories are one of the most popular materials of his poems. When he was young, he had a gift to paint. But after graduating from a college, he started his career as a musician. He made a duet and had several albums. ‘The Thorn Bird’ is the title song of his album, ‘Forest’(1988), and it has been loved widely as a song and a poem until now.
As a christian, he produced many religious music, and he played an important role to introduce CCM(Contemporary Christian Music) in Korea.
His poem is usually related with the pure soul, his childhood, the nature and he tried to purify the sick, materialistic, and contaminated society through his poems.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


By J.Berg

Min släkt är full av hjältar 

Decennier av slit 

Brustna hjärtan, trötta leder 

Deras stolthet bar mig hit 

Nu är dom gömda bakom stjärnor 

Vid vintergatans kant 

Dom är glömda men dom talar 

Genom pennan i min hand 

Och dom bar mig ända hit 

Jag ska besvara elden 

Om jag kan ta dig dit 

Jag ska bevara elden 

i en sång för vår elit 

Genom 57 kanaler 

Satelliter i en ring 

Ett hundra överklass poeter 

Kan inte ge mig någonting 

Jag har sprungit i ett liv nu 

Jag sprang för att stå still 

I jakt på ett mirakel 

när det fanns precis intill 

Nu är jag vaken jag är fri


My family is made of heroes
Decades of hard work
Broken hearts, joint pain
Their pride carried me here
They are hiding beyond the stars now
At the edge of the Milky Way
They are forgotten but speaking
Through the pen in my hand
And they carried me right here

I will respond to the internal fire
If I can take you there
I will preserve the fire
In a song for our elite

Through 57 channels
Satellites in a ring
One hundred upper class poets
Can’t give me anything
I have been running through a life now
I ran too stand still
I was hunting for a miracle
When it was right next to me
Now I am awake and free

The English translation is many times direct, but it was sometimes hard to find the same spirit as in the Swedish version. Many of the verbs worked in the translation, but some of them were hard to find. The expression joint pain, is not the exact translation, it should be tired joint, but that wouldn’t give the right feeling. I also made the expression about fire more clearly, by putting internal in front off. The language in the text is not common used in Sweden, and due to that fact, in my ears it sounds odd in English.

The music group, Kent, is one of the most successful rock groups in Sweden through the times. The song text is slightly politically, and it’s about their parents who built the Swedish welfare state in the 1950’s. The working class people who wanted welfare for everybody, and the writer think that they are the ones who built the Swedish welfare. Due to that fact, he calls them the elite. The common view of the word elite is, highly educated, and upper class people. But he doesn’t see them as the ones who built the society; instead we should be thankful to the working class.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

One Eyed Fish's Love

외눈박이 물고기의 사랑 [詩人 류시화 ]

외눈박이 물고기처럼 살고 싶다
외눈박이 물고기처럼 사랑하고 싶다
두눈박이 물고기처럼 세상을 살기위해
평생을 두 마리가 함께 붙어 다녔다는
외눈박이 물고기 비목(比目魚)처럼
사랑하고 싶다

우리에게 시간은 충분했다. 그러나
우리는 그만큼 사랑하지 않았을 뿐..
외눈박이 물고기처럼
그렇게 살고싶다
그 혼자있음이 금방 들켜버리는
외눈박이 물고기 비목처럼
목숨을 다해 사랑하고 싶다..

One Eyed Fish’s Love [ By Ryu Shiva ]

I want to live like a one-eyed fish.
I want to love like a one-eyed fish.
A one-eyed fish, Bi-Mok,
that had been attached to each other for its whole life
to live like a two-eyed fish.
I want to love like them.

We had sufficient time. But,
We just didn’t love each other enough for the time.
I want to live the way a one-eyed fish lives.
When it’s alone,
the aloneness becomes noticeable.
The one-eyed fish, Bi-Mok.
I want to love like them
for the sake of my life.

1. About the Poet, Ryu Shiva (1958~)

Ryu Shiva was born in 1958 in a small town in South Korea, and his real name is Ahn Jae Chan. He is one of the most famous and affective contemporary poets/essay writers in Korea now. And his first book of poetry, “I miss you, although you’re being with me,” published in 1991, is still easily found on the best seller shelf at a book store all the time.
What people mostly find impressive and interesting about Ryu’s poem is that he infuses his poems with the warm humanity using his smart way of looking at normal life and trivial events that everybody has but they don’t value that much. As we read his works, we can easily find how differently he has expressed his feeling toward small things in the life in his poems, such as Salt, Nail on the stars, Salt-star, Eyelash etc. Readers are strongly impressed by the insignificant things that haven’t had such a big meaning in their life, but are expressed in a beautiful way in Ryu’s poems. When you read his poems for the first time, you might get the feeling that he’s just singing the lame lines of love songs. But what makes Ryu’s poems different from others’ is his poems are made up by him after his own deep self-examination and based on his sense of values that he learned from his many trip to India, and Tibet over 15 years.
His works on composing poems are also found distinctive by many critics because his poems are mostly meditative and religious. The calm aftertaste of his poems gives readers one more chance to ponder deeply after reading it.
“One-eyed fish’s Love”, his second poem book, was published in 1996 after his long his trip to Thai, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal and Himalaya in 1994. And besides those two poem books mentioned, the meditation seeking book, “Things that life has thought me”, and an aphorism poem book, ”Had I known what I know right now at that time,” are also famous for his work.

2. About the One-Eyed fish (비목-比目)

Lots of people might be wondering if the “real” one-eyed fish actually exists after having read this poem. There are two different theories about this controversial “one-eyed fish.” Some people believe Ryu Shiva, the poet of One-eyed fish's love, made a mistake when he wrote this poem because of the lack of an accurate knowledge of what exactly the one-eyed fish is. On the other hand, some believe that the fish he’s talking about in the poem is not a real fish, but it indicates the fish, living at the east ocean and called “Bi-Mok(比目漁),” that appears in the Chinese myth story. Moreover, this Bi-Mok fish is described having only one eye, so at least two of them are needed to swim toward correct way in the Chinese myth story.
But, ironically enough, those two theories are talking about the same kind of fish, basically. They both are talking about flatfish/flounder/plaice. The flounders have a thin, flat body with both of their eyes on the top of their body. But, very long time ago, in China, where all the culture was focused on the inland life, people didn’t have a chance to observe the sea creatures thoroughly. So, old Chinese ancient people believed that the flat fish had only one eye even though it has both of them on the top of its body. Due to that fact, the rumor that says the flat fish has only one eye was spread out all over the country and the myth was created from that.

3. About the Poem

A one-eyed fish, Bi-Mok,
that had been attached to each other for its whole life
to live like a two-eyed fish.
I want to love like them.

-> The poet is trying to say that the love which needs each other to complete the real “one (1)” is the true love we should be seeking after in this part of poem.

We had sufficient time. But,
We just didn’t love enough each other for the time.

-> It’s the most beautiful part of this poem. And it leaves with me lots of questions about my attitude toward my loved ones in my life. This part of poem explains why we can’t love like a one-eyed fish. In my own interpretation, the poet seems to be trying to point out that lots of people out there create ridiculous fake excuses not to be sincerely committed to somebody. It’s “selfishness” in us, which only keeps ourselves away from our loved ones. People are afraid of getting hurt if they show their love as much as they actually do. So we are playing with our emotions in order to protect ourselves, observing how they react to us. As a result, we can’t be sincerely committed or attached to somebody like a one-eyed fish in the poem.