Poem By Lee, Hee Ju-Prepared Angela Kosta


POEM BY LEE, HEE JU

Poetess Ms. Lee Hee-ju was born in 1965, went to Japan in 1989, and returned to Korea in 2010.

She made her debut in 2022 by winning the Best New Artist Award from the quarterly literary

magazine “Lovers”. Her poetry collection “National Highway” is available, and in 2023,

she received the Ieodo Literary Award. She currently serves as the Vice President of Korean

World Literature.

DINNER WITH THE MOON 

In the tranquility of the evening,

As I opened the window, I suddenly felt the presence of the moon.

While the moon ventures into the world,

This evening, my husband and children have not yet returned.

The moon, gracefully slipping through the window,

Becomes my dinner companion.

 From the crescent moon to the full moon,

The moon visits houses where people dine alone.

It becomes my companion and source of comfort,

Standing beside me in its gentle glow.

Finding solace in its luminous light, I confess my loneliness,

With a heavy longing in my heart,

I open my eyes to beauty with the moon by my side.

In the deepest recesses of my heart,

When longing descends like fog,

I always invite the full moon to dinner.

The full moon steadfastly remains,

Waiting to bring solace to my weary soul.

STARS AND POLLACK

Chuseok is fast approaching.

Last night, my father returned home

with a package of dried pollack, tied with straw rope.

Hang it in front of your bike,

Passing through a long alley where the sunset spreads red.

He arrived at the alley where we used to live,

Never getting off the bicycle with the Samchully brand on it.

My father loved alcohol his whole life.

His wife, now over 80,

Resembled her grandmother, leaning on her cane.

Around the time father passed away,

We were left behind like taro roots,

Children becoming adults, hanging separate pots, and cooking our own meals.

If you’re coming, please send a telegram in advance…

A bundle of dried pollack was placed on a deflated bicycle without any sign of presence,

you enter into my dreams.

Did you want to eat pollack soup, Dad?

Even if my father became a star and went to heaven.

CHO HEE

A handful of sunlight carried by the wind,

It softly descended to the ground in Chodang-dong.

A sigh secretly hidden in the old tiles,

Its breath colder than winter.

Last night, a small flower bloomed,

Amidst the cedar trees at the edge of the old yard where the snow has melted.

I miss the sixteen who bowed her head and left.

Moonlight breaking dawn,

I cried until my uvula swelled in the water of the Milky Way.

I curl my lips and call her out,

Trying to sing more and more in a grass-colored voice,

But Cho Hee does not exist in this world.

In longing, she didn’t take root,

Leaving behind both her poetry and her writings.

A Buyong flower with a sad story every year,

After it blooms and withers,

I know that Cho Hee 

went there without anyone knowing.

Prepared Angela Kosta Academic, journalist, writer, poet, essayist, literary critic, editor, translator