Poetry from Kang Byeong Chen

Kang Byeong Chen
Sounds of Bamboo Forest

No matter how strong the wind blows,
the green forest never crumbles.
When the wind passes by,
the green forest stands tall and proud,
inspiring admiration.

The sounds of bamboo forest,
echo through the trees,
whispers of wisdom and peace,
carried on the gentle breeze.

A symphony of rustling leaves,
Soft words win hard hearts,
a melody of harmony,
ringing in the bamboo forest glen.

So let the forest speak to you,
let its wisdom guide your way,
listen to the sounds of bamboo,
and find peace in each passing day.

대나무 숲의 소리

아무리 강한 바람이 불어도
푸른 숲은 무너지지 않아
바람이 지나가면
푸른 숲은 높고 자랑스러운 모습으로 서 있어,
감탄할 만한 영감을 주지

대나무 숲의 소리,
나무들 사이에 울려 퍼지지,
지혜와 평화의 속삭임,
부드러운 바람에 실리지.

속삭이는 잎들의 교향곡,
부드러움이 강한 것을 이겨,
대나무 숲의 계곡에서 울리는 화음

숲이 말하는 것을 듣고
지혜의 길로 이끌게 두라
대나무의 소리를 들으며,
하루하루 평화를 찾을 수 있으리니

The Sharp Rocks by the Seashore

Even the strong black rocks
can be shattered by the waves
the never-tiring power of the waves.

I used to be one of the sea's sharp rocks,
strong and sharp-edged,
fighting against the waves.

Now, I have crumbled into a round pebble,
having learned a lesson over time.

Softness can conquer strength,
and the pen is mightier than the sword.

The truth of the universe,
Sharp rocks turn into pebbles,
and sharp things change into round and soft things.

The pebbles playing with the waves on the shore,
no longer fight against the waves.
They live in harmony with the peaceful waves.

바닷가의 날카로운 바위

강한 검은 바위도 
파도에 부서지지
지치지 않는 파도의 힘을 당할 수 없어

나는 바다의 검은 바위였어
강하고 날카로운 모서리로 
파도와 싸웠지

이제, 나는 부서져 내리고 둥근 조약돌이 되었어
오랜 시간 배운 교훈이지

부드러운 것이 
강한 것을 이겨
칼보다 펜이 더 강해

우주의 진리 
날카로운 바위는 
조약돌로 바뀌고 
날카로운 것은 
둥글고 부드러운 것으로 변해 

해안에서 파도와 노는
조약돌은 이제
파도와 싸우지 않아
조화로운 파도와 조약돌의 평화

Endurance of the Shoebill

In the wetlands of Uganda, a bird stands tall,
unending tranquility, waiting for food
Its massive bill shaped like a shoe, ready to haul.
With patience and poise, it stands in the water,
Waiting for prey to come, it doesn't falter.

Its eyes are sharp, its focus intense,
The shoebill picks food with skill and sense.
With lightning speed, it strikes at its prey,
Its powerful beak leaving no delay.

Through thick and thin, the shoebill endures,
Through harsh climates, it steadfastly ensures,
Its survival and place in this world,
Its determination, never give up.

From dawn to dusk, it forages on,
Until the day is done and night has drawn.
The shoebill is a creature of strength and might,
A symbol of endurance, a wondrous sight.

슈빌의 인내와 끈기

우간다 늪지대, 그곳에 큰 새가 서 있네
신발 같은 큰 부리를 가진, 그 새가
차분하게 물속에서 기다리네
먹이를 기다리며,
끝이 보이지 않는 물 위에 선 고요

날카로운 눈, 집중하는 시선,
먹이를 고르는 그 새는 대단하지
빠르게 부리로 내리치며,
주저없이 먹이를 잡는 강한 부리의 힘

변함없이 견뎌내는 새
극한의 환경을 이겨낸 새,
이 세상에서의 생존과 존재감,
절대 지지 않겠다는 그 각오

새벽부터 저녁까지 사냥하고,
낮이 가고 밤이 깊어질 때까지,
그 새는 끊임없이 먹잇감을 찾지.
그 새는 인내와 끈기의 생명체,
환상적인 모습, 그대로 인내의 상징.

Kang Byeong-Cheol is a Korean author, poet, translator, and holder of a Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science degree. He was born in Jeju City, South Korea in 1964, and began his writing career in 1993. His first short story, “Song of Shuba,” was published when he was twenty-nine years old.
In 2005, Kang published a collection of short stories and has since won four literature awards, publishing over eight books in total. He was a member of The Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) of PEN International from 2009 to 2014. From 2018 to 2022, he served as Secretary General of the Jeju Unification Education Center. Prior to that, he was a Specially Appointed Professor at Jeju International University from 2016 to 2018, a Research Professor at Chungnam National University National Defense Institute from 2013 to 2016, a Senior Researcher at the Society of Ieodo Research from 2010 to 2017, and CEO of Online News Media Jejuin News from 2010 to 2013.
Kang also worked as an editorial writer for NewJejuIlbo, a newspaper in Jeju City, Korea. Currently, he holds the position of Research Executive at The Korean Institute for Peace and Cooperation.

One thought on “Poetry from Kang Byeong Chen

  1. meditative. like spending a relaxing morning with Lao Tzu, a good cup of green tea, warming hand and heart.

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