Korean Ku Sang Poem,
"Before the Cemetery of Enemy"
by Ku Sang
Before a War Cemetery of North Korean Dead Korean poem by Ku Sang
Ku Sang was born in September 16, 1919 and raised in Wonsan, in South Ham-gyeong Province which is now situated in North Korea. His parents were Catholic and his older brother was a priest, but after studying in Japan he had a crisis of faith and only returned to Catholicism later in life. Ku returned to the area of his up-bringing, working as a journalist and writer. His efforts to publish his poetry just after the end of the Second World War were met with resistance from the Communist authorities and he fled to the south, Ku Sang died on May 11, 2004.
Ah, surely they could never close your eyes,
you, souls now resting here in rows?
It was these our hands, that until yesterday
pressed the trigger and took you lives,
that gathered up your broken, rotting bodies, your bones,
them chose a secluded mountainside where the sun is right,
and quietly buried them, even covered the spot with turf,
for truly death is more mysterious than hatred or love.
Not far from here the road is blocked,
the homeward road your souls, like mine, must take,
and the mere silence of the empty, desert hills
weighs on my breast a thousand tons;
so while in life we were only united in hate,
now rather the tragic longing
you were not able to allay
dwells within my aspiration.
In the spring sky,
nearly close enough to touch,
a cloud indifferently
gunfire echoes from afar
and before these tombs of love and hate
all I can do is weep copious tears.
-The Peace Line-