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THIRD WORLD RESURGENCE

No Chonmyong (1912-1957) was a Korean poet, lecturer and journalist. As a result of her opposition to the Korean War, she was convicted for 'anti-government' activities and sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment. Public protests, especially from the literary community, forced the authorities to release her after six months.


A nameless woman

No Chonmyong

I wish to be a nameless woman

way out on a small hillside.

With gourd-vines on the roof of my cottage,

pumpkins and cucumbers in a hemp-garden,

the moon invited into my yard

over a fence made of roses,

and my arms full of stars;

the owl-hooting dark will not make me lonely.

In a village where the train never stops,

eating millet-cake soaked in a brass basin,

talking with a close friend until late at night

about the secrets of the fox-haunted mountains,

while a shaggy dog barks at the moon,

I shall be happier than a queen.

Translated by Ko Won

*Third World Resurgence No. 322/323, Jun/July 2017, p 64


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