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Poetry

The Little Spring

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

Without its little spring,
what would make Yongtun Village a village?
Endlessly, snowflakes fall
into the spring’s dark waters
and dissolve.
What still still stillness,
as Yang-sul’s wife,
covered in snow, goes out to draw water,
puts down her tiny little water jar
and picks up the gourd dipper but forgets to draw water,
watching snowflakes die:
that still still stillness.

English

Without its little spring,
what would make Yongtun Village a village?
Endlessly, snowflakes fall
into the spring’s dark waters
and dissolve.
What still still stillness,
as Yang-sul’s wife,
covered in snow, goes out to draw water,
puts down her tiny little water jar
and picks up the gourd dipper but forgets to draw water,
watching snowflakes die:
that still still stillness.

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