Kwangju 1980 und heute

2012: Gedichte: Not Over Yet

Kwangju, 18. - 23. Mai 1980

Gwangju News, May 2012. Gwangju News veröffentlhten in der ami-Nummer des Heftes 9 Gedichte verschiedener Verfasser. Die Redaktion gab der kleinen Sammlung die Überschfit: Not Over Yer: Poetry on the Gwangju Uprising (May 1980) 

Not Over Yet: Poetry on the Gwangju Uprising (May, 1980) 


Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

Don’t Sing of May as a Blade of Grass that Withers in Wind
by Kim Nam-ju (1946-1994)

Don’t sing of May as a blade of grass that withers in wind.
May didn’t come lyrically like wind,
nor did it lie lyrically like a blade of grass

May came with a beast’s blood-stained claws.
May came with the teeth of crazy dogs hungry for blood.
May came with the soldier’s bayonet cutting the pregnant mother’s womb.
May came gorging on the children’s eyes that popped out like bullets.
May came with American tanks that trampled down the breath of freedom.

Don’t sing of May as a blade of grass that withers in wind.
May didn’t come lyrically like wind,
nor did it lie lyrically like a blade of grass.

May rose with the wailing of an angry lion.
May rose with the blood-stained hair of the slaughtered young woman.
May rose with the last scream that destroyed men shout.
It was the Freedom’s suicidal attack that jumped into the forest of guns and swords.
It was the hammer heated in the fire at the ironworks.
It was the kitchen knives of the boys who rushed out of the restaurants.
It was the rice ball rolled by the innocent lips of barmaids.
It was the dynamite where all the human emotion toward injustice
congealed in love and exploded in hatred.

Don’t sing of May as a blade of grass that withers in wind.
Wind is not fitting poetic language for the beast’s claws.
Don’t sing of May as a blade of grass that withers in wind.
Grass blades are not fitting poetic images for the blood battle resisting massacre.
There is no room for the lyrical to stand
in between the bloody massacre and the armed resistance.
Nor does it deserve a place--
not in Gwangju streets in May of 1980!

The Rice Ball of Tears
by Koh Jung-hee (1948-1991)

The rice ball on which even the angel of death shed tears,
the rice ball over which sisters and brothers sobbed:
have you eaten the rice ball of Gwangju?
The rice ball that makes a fire pillar rise up after you eat it,
the rice ball that makes the Youngsan River roll up and down
when you share it:
have you eaten the rice ball of freedom?
The rice ball mixed with Mother’s blood tears
at the floor of the Hakdong Market
and at the Yangdong Market,
the rice ball seasoned with the sisters’ wailing
at Hwajungdong, on Hwasun Neorit Hill,
on Kumnam Street, and at Sansoodong:
have you eaten the rice ball of sanctuary?
Have you eaten the rice ball of community?
Oh, love, love, love,
the apocalyptic river water of May,
the people who will run to Gwangju, toward Gwangju
until we climb up Mudeung Mountain, Lake Chunji of Baekdu Mountain,
climbing over Lake Baekrock of Halla Mountain,
wash the snow and the rice in the deep blue lakes of Baekrock and Chunji
that will feed more than sixty million people
and share the rice ball of reunification,
the rice ball of equality,
the rice ball of humanity,
let us flare up as rice and firewood
at the home where dim evening smoke rises at dusk.

The May of My Heart
by Kwak Je-gu (1954- )

I longed to open a green umbrella hanging
with a pink ribbon wrapped around it.
Standing in the spring wind blowing in,
I longed to collect flowers along the bank
and flowers of my heart,
and spray them toward the glowing sky of the South.
I longed to shout a poem that makes one burst into tears
toward the grass surging strongly
from the wound of a rocky mountain.
For that which was burned to bones and
for that which collapsed and then became more beautiful,
I longed to pin a few short flowers
onto the heart of the naked land after the snow melted.
And then I longed to become a star.
I longed to become the starlight of the eastern sky
which has a warm heart,
a star that descends on the dew-drenched, dawn grass
and with the incomprehensive fragrance of the sky
puts to sleep the sorrows of this land.
Ah, what should I do, my love?
On this May day in my heart,
only the azaleas hanging with black ribbons around their stalks
maniacally burn the spring mountains and streams.

The South I Long for
by Kwak Je-gu (1954- )

Where is the place?
If you look, you will find the place azaleas bloom like tears
at a corner of the foot of the mountain.
If you call toward it,
putting together your big jointed hands
it answers with clouds mixed with tears--
the place where blood-filled tears gather again.
When you look back to the land you miss
which in deepening darkness lies alone, becoming sorrowful,
today who is calling it, thirsting for deep love?
Young poet, do you know
everywhere in this land
you can see clearly with open eyes:
in the autumn melody when the autumn wind blows,
in the spring melody when the spring wind blows,
in the quiet sound of the rising tide,
the undying, sorrowful powers of this land
that are like corn, green peppers,
and winter larva in snow,
come into bloom on our collapsed hearts.

Gwangju, Our Love
by Kim Yong-taek (1948- )

Gwangju, our love,
that does not freeze
even during dictatorship’s biting winter,
where snow does not accumulate
though it is dumped like bullets--
here living water gushes with steam.

By an Unnamed Warrior’s Grave
by Lee Si-young (1949- )

Leaving you here,
we shouted “the time of reconciliation!”
Lifting up high our gunshot-wounded arms,
clinking the glasses,
we had already forgotten our wounds.
After dancing at the plaza
where democracy was to come
we had forgotten wounds and all we sacrificed our crutches,
to forget you,
finally shaking our heads,
to forget you who were lying down, painted, within the grave.
But the spring sun
that hadn’t removed the paint from your whole body
is not our spring any more.
It’s a lie; it’s hypocrisy.
The warrior, the youth who disappeared as a cold flower
on the dawn of May 27, 1980,
was pushed back by the closing-in forest of guns and bayonets.
Any history that shouts, leaving you here,
is not a history.

At the Mangwol Cemetery
by Kim Nam-ju (1946–1994)

May lions, the stars of destructed earth,
you lie here cut into pieces
without faces, without names.
You are buried in dirt and in wind, labeled as rebels.

May heroes
who went against domination and injustice
for the freedom of the world where people live,
for the beauty of the world where people live,
and who rose up trembling in indignation,
you have never gone to the world of death.
You have never gone to the other world of oblivion.
The wide open hearts of May still withstand bullets,
the lifted fighting fists still resist injustice.
Innumerable unyielding lives are born
out of your collapsed bodies.
They are born again,
wet their lips in the river of blood you shed,
and sing the song that you couldn’t finish.
They are born anew,
wet their arms and feet in the stream of tears you shed,
and walk the road that you couldn’t walk entirely,
clenching their fists.
For the freedom of the world where people live,
for the beauty of the world where people live,
your sons and daughters now
are willing to risk even their lives.
Like you, they are marching forward
armed with love and hatred of revenge.

May heroes, the stars of the destructed earth,
the dawn buried in darkness is breaking
and the day of victory approaches,
so rise up and receive the glory of victory.

By the Grave
by Lee Si-young (1949- )

Spring flowers were brutally snapped,
and the aggressor’s footsteps
by the grave make me giddy.
Friend, don’t sleep yet.
In our blood-shot eyes
your death is vividly alive--
you who threw a knife toward the enemy that dawn.

Ah, May! Gwangju Is Not Over Yet
by Na Jong-young (1954- )

May, 1989:
Gwangju is not over yet
Ah, Mudeung Mountain, our eternal mother, and
azaleas blooming all over the land!

Ah, the angels who were dying on that day in their mother's wombs
running thousands and thousands of steps,
feeling out of breath as though the sky was collapsing!
The hands of avaricious devil
that took away their precious lives!
May 1980:
the city of revolution that lives eternally by dying.
Gwangju! We haven't laid down our hands yet.

Like beasts who smelled blood,
the dark hands climbed over the wall
and pulled the trigger of indiscriminate massacre
at the brothers who couldn't shoot at the dawn of the day
with their hands shaking.
May 1980:
Gwangju is not over yet!

By the bank where milk vetch bloomed all over,
you, eleven-year-old child, died
on Kumnam Street, at Yangrimdong, at Wolsandong,
at the Yangdong Market, at Kyerimdong Five-way Crossing,
at the Hwankumdong bar district
Gwangju died once, twice, three times,
and Gwangju revived from the fight, from darkness,
a city of resurrection that factory workers, restaurant workers,
professors, students, doctors, barmaids, office workers,
shoe shiners, and garbage scavengers built as one.

Kumnam Street overflows with love and peace--
streets overflow with rice balls:
the community where people's faces filled with smiles,
their hearts filled with equality,
the world where people live,
the time of glory and shame that passes like a dream.

May, 1989:
the life that emerges again in dying,
Mudeung Mountain that stands as a majestic mother,
the wildflowers who disappeared
without any name.

Today we march again
From Kumnam Street, to Provincial Hall,
to Shinandong, to Mangwol cemetery--
we march, clenching our bare hands,
not to remember
the day's roar, the day's anger, the day's trembling,
but to cut off
the day's oppression, the day's torture, the day's terror
that still constricts our feet.
To make tomorrow's good world with our hands,
today we march holding torches.

Though the night sky is dark
and our road is long and treacherous,
till the day of democracy, till the day of national liberation
till the day of our reunification,
ah, May! Gwangju is not over yet.

Mit freundlicher Erlaubnis von Gwangju News