“In the Glass Coffin” by Kim Myeong-sun
Today, I withstood agony again,
In The Glass Coffin by © Kim Myeong-sun, these translations are © Sean Jido Ahn
Along with a literary movement, Kim was also a central figure in feminism movement of her time. She argued that the world would achieve peace rather than war if women could play a major role in sociopolitics. Moreover, she openly supported free love, and her practice of free love subjected Kim to severe criticism. The fact she was a date rape victim and a daughter of a courtesan hardened the criticism, even among the writers who were close to her. After she fled to Tokyo in 1939, her mental health exacerbated due to extreme financial hardship, failed relationship, and ongoing criticism, and Kim spent rest of her life in Aoyama psychiatric hospital in Tokyo. While her year of death is known to be 1951, this date is not officially verified.
A note about the translator
Sean Jido Ahn is a literature student and a translator residing in Massachusetts, USA. His main focus is Korean to English translation, and he has translated a documentary, interviews, journal articles, and literary pieces. Currently, he runs a poetry translation blog AhnTranslation and plans to publish the first edition of a literary translation quarterly for Korean literature in fall 2017.
“Closet” by Lisa Lowther
Ivory Solid Wooden door –
White Backless gowns
By Invitation – The other
Even I did not feel invited into this poem
Closet is © Lisa Lowther
I. Am. Straight. Are You ? & other poems by Lisa Lowther
“Faoi Ghlas” by Doireann Ní Ghríofa
Faoi Ghlas Tá sí faoi ghlas ann fós, sa teach tréigthe, cé go bhfuil aigéin idir í agus an teach a d’fhág sí ina diaidh. I mbrat uaine a cuid cniotála, samhlaíonn sí sraitheanna, ciseal glasa péinte ag scamhadh ón mballa sa teach inar chaith sí — — inar chas sí eochair, blianta ó shin, an teach atá fós ag fanacht uirthi, ag amharc amach thar an bhfarraige mhór. Tá an eochair ar shlabhra aici, crochta óna muineál agus filleann sí ann, scaití, nuair a mhothaíonn sí cloíte. Lámh léi ar eochair an tslabhra, dúnann sí a súile agus samhlaíonn sí an teach úd cois cladaigh, an dath céanna lena cuid olla cniotála, na ballaí gorm-ghlas, teach tógtha ón uisce, teach tógtha as uisce agus an radharc ann: citeal ag crónán, gal scaipthe, scaoilte ó fhuinneog an pharlúis, na toir i mbladhm, tinte ag scaipeadh ar an aiteann agus éan ceoil a máthair ag portaireacht ina chliabhán, ach cuireann na smaointe sin ceangal ar a cliabhrach agus filleann sí arís ar a seomra néata, ar lá néata eile sa teach altranais, teanga na mbanaltraí dearmadta aici, seachas please agus please agus please, tá sí cinnte de nach dtuigeann siad cumha ná tonnta ná glas. Timpeall a muiníl, ualach an eochair do doras a shamhlaíonn sí faoi ghlas fós, ach ní aontaíonn an eochair sin leis an nglas níos mó tá an chomhla dá hinsí i ngan fhios di an tinteán líonta le brosna préacháin fós, fáisceann sí an chniotáil chuig a croí ansin baineann sí dá dealgáin í, á roiseadh go mall arís, arís, na línte scaoilte ina ceann agus ina gceann snáth roiste: gorm-ghlas gorm-ghlas gorm-ghlas gorm-ghlas gorm-ghlas gorm-ghlas amhail cuilithíní cois cladaigh nó roiseanna farraige móire. Sracann sí go dtí go bhfuil sí féin faoi ghlas le snáth á chlúdach ó mhuineál go hucht. Ansin, ceanglaíonn sí snaidhm úr, snaidhm docht, ardaíonn sí na dealgáin agus tosaíonn sí arís. ∇ Under Lock and Green She is locked there still, in the empty house, despite the ocean between her and this house, the one she left behind her. In the green sweep of her knitting she imagines layers, green layers of paint a wall peeling in the house where she spent – – where she turned a key, years ago, before, the house that is still waiting for her gazing over a vast ocean. She wears the key on a chain that hangs at her throat and she returns there, sometimes, when she feels weak. With one hand over that chained key, she closes her eyes and daydreams that house by the beach, the same colour as her wool, the walls blue-green, a house from water, a house of water and the view there: a fretting kettle, its steam loose, leaving through the parlour window, where the furze is aflame, fires swelling through the gorse, and her mother’s songbird chirping in its cage, but thoughts like these bind her chest too tightly so she lets go, and returns to this neat little room, this neat little day another in this home this home for the elderly where she forgot the nurses’ words years ago except please and please and please, and she’s certain that they understand neither cumha nor tonnta nor the glas at her throat, the weight of a key for a door she imagines still locked, but the key won’t slot into her remembered lock the door has fallen from its hinges in her absence the hearth fills with the kindling of crows still, she nestles her knitting in near her heart then lifts it from the needles, unravels it slowly again, again, the lines released one by one unravelled, the thread: blue-green blue-green blue-green blue-green blue-green blue-green like little ripples scribbling on the shore or immense ripping oceans. She tears until she is under lock and green again, with wool covering her neck and chest. Then, a breath, and then, she ties a new knot, lifts the needles and begins again.
“Rajm” by Müesser Yeniay
Rajm Outside is night inside is separation this must be the last day of the world -I think of him- love ends (…) the heart remains as a woman who was stoned to death in the middle of reality my heart is the biggest stone that God threw at me
© Müesser Yeniay, translated into english by Müesser Yeniay