Ko, Un: Onnjon Szibériában (Ŏnnyŏn in Siberia in Hungarian)

Portre of Ko, Un

Ŏnnyŏn in Siberia (English)

In the 1920s 
some Koreans 
made their way beyond Mongolia
into Russia,
journeyed all the way to near Lake Baikal 
and settled in a ruined hut that had to be propped up. 

Such a long way to go to live.

Despite blizzards 
and days so cold their urine froze,
they managed
not to freeze to death.


Such a harsh way to live.

On a freezing morning, a girl in Korean dress, long skirt and blouse,a water pot on her head 
went on her way 
to fetch water 
carrying a club to smash the ice.
 
Not yet called Anna or Tatiana,
just Ŏnnyŏn, Pretty Girl.
 
Her father had not come home for several days.
Boarding a sledge,
he went off to a hunting lodge
in Bear Forest.
 
Ŏnnyŏn had
two younger brothers
and two younger sisters.
 
The family had grown as they journeyed on.
 
They're not yet called Sergei or Josip or Boris but
First Twin
Second Twin
Tong-sŏp
Kŭt-sŏp
Below Ŏnnyŏn
Little Girl
Last Girl. 

Once she turned eight, Ŏnnyŏn became an adult.
She had been living the days
she was destined to live

Translated by Brother Anthony of Taizé and Lee Sang-Wha from Korean.


Uploaded bySipos Tamás
PublisherGreen Integer
Source of the quotationhttp://muse.jhu.edu/article/253619
Publication date
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