Skip to main content
Outdated Browser

For the best experience using our website, we recommend upgrading your browser to a newer version or switching to a supported browser.

More Information

Poetry

The Moon

By Ko Un
Translated from Korean by Brother Anthony of Taizé, Young-Moo Kim & Gary G. Gach

Every time the moon rose, she prayed.
Finally Wol-nam's mother, at forty, bore a son.
In dreams before pregnancy,
she swallowed the moon.
After her son was born, Wol-nam's mother
would lose her mind
without fail
every time the moon rose.
Late at night, washing dishes,
she'd smash one bowl—
the moon then hid in a cloud
and the world grew blind.

For the next poem in this sequence, click here.

From Ten Thousand Lives by Ko Un, published 2005 by Green Integer Press. Translation copyright 2005. By arrangement with the publisher. All rights reserved.

English

Every time the moon rose, she prayed.
Finally Wol-nam's mother, at forty, bore a son.
In dreams before pregnancy,
she swallowed the moon.
After her son was born, Wol-nam's mother
would lose her mind
without fail
every time the moon rose.
Late at night, washing dishes,
she'd smash one bowl—
the moon then hid in a cloud
and the world grew blind.

For the next poem in this sequence, click here.

From Ten Thousand Lives by Ko Un, published 2005 by Green Integer Press. Translation copyright 2005. By arrangement with the publisher. All rights reserved.

Read Next

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]