난 부탁했다

So I finally got my hands on 지금 알고 있는 걸 그때도 아랐더라면 which is a  poetry anthology from poets around the world. Some of the poems, like Rudyard Kipling’s “If”, I’ve read before so reading them Korean is interesting because you get to see how subtle expressions are translated into Korean. Other poems, I’ve never read before so after reading them I started to wonder how accurate my interpretation of the poems were… which led me to search for the originals in English and compare. Happy to say I’m not too far off the mark! 🙂

지금 알고 있는 걸 그때도 알았더라면

When I picked up the book from the post office, I opened the package in the car and my favourite poem turned out to be the first poem I read as I flipped through.

난 부탁했다

나는 신에게 나를 강하게 만들어 달라고 부탁했다. 내가 원하는 모든 걸 이룰 수 있도록.
하지만  신은 나를 약하게 만들었다. 겸손해지는 법을 배우도록.

나는 신에게 건강을 부탁했다. 더 큰 일을 할 수 있도록.
하지만  신은  내게 허약함을 주었다. 더 의미 있는 일을 하도록.

나는 부자가 되게 해달라고 부탁했다. 행복할 수 있도록.
하지만 난 가난을 선물받았다. 지혜로운 사람이 되도록.

나는 제능을 달라고 부탁했다. 그해서 사람들의 찬사를 받을 수 있도록.
하지만 난 열등감을 선물받았다. 신의 필요성을 느끼도록.

나는 신에게 모든 것을 부탁했다. 삶을 누릴 수 있도록.
하지만 신은 내게 삶을 선물했다. 모든 것을 누릴 수 있도록.

나는 내가 부탁한 것을 하나도 받지 못했지만
내게 필요한 모들 걸 선물받았다.
나는 작은 존재임에도 불구하고
신은 내 무언의 기도를 다 들었다.

모든 사람들 중에서
나는 가장 축복받은 자이다.

작자 미상

9 thoughts on “난 부탁했다

  1. Oh my gosh, you’re a (Korean) poetry reader too?! I picked up another book of poetry in Korean before I left Seoul last week and I can’t wait to read it. There’s something about reading poetry in another language that helps you understand the language a little better. Not sure if you’ve been to Seoul, but the subway system has poetry on lots of the windows in the stations and posted in frames on some of the walls…. Anyway, I’ll have to check out this one after I finish the two I already have 🙂

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      • I bought American poet Shel Silverstein’s translated compilation “Where the Sidewalk Ends” in Korean – “골목길이 끝나는 곳” 쉘 실버스타인. It was a book I read countless times growing up, and reading it in Korean is a delight on many levels. It’s simple, for children, and I know the poems in English 🙂 Before I went to Korea, I already owned “Enough to Say It’s Far,” which compiles selected poems of Pak Chaesam; it was translated by David R. McCann and Jiwon Shin. I had the pleasure to attend a lecture on 시조 by Mr. McCann at my home university and ever since then have been fascinated by Korean poetry both ancient and modern. And finally, a dear Korean friend of mine sent me home with a compilation of favorite poems of Koreans – “한국인이 가장 좋아하는 명시 100선.”

        And…I bought The Hobbit and The Scorch Trials (2nd book to the Maze Runner) in Korean and Tablo’s short stories “Pieces of You” in both English and Korean. The Kyobo Bookstore in Gwanghwamun Station wanted to take all my money, but luckily I simply had no way of taking more books home with me. And these will last a while^^

        Definitely check out that subway poetry! Makes waiting for the subway much more enjoyable 🙂

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      • Wow! Thanks for the info! 한국인이 가장 좋아하는 명시 100선 and Pieces of You look great! Btw… do you use any online sites for buying Korean books? I use Hey Eonni and Two Chois but I’m looking for some sites with more variety.

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      • Sure^^ Actually I have only bought Korean books in person in bookstores, except a book of poems and Big Bang’s book, both of which I ordered online – one from Amazon and one from Ebay actually….I wish i could buy more and more often but shipping is expensive :/

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      • *sigh* I hate shipping fees ㅠㅠ I end up picking books I like then waiting till they’re enough to justify the one time shipping fees before buying them 😛

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