Ko Un

(1933 / North Jeolla Province / South Korea)

The Himalayas


Recollection is short, fantasy long!
A place where I'd never been born,
must never be born—
the Himalayas.

On whose behalf
did I go there?
I went with all ten fingers trembling.

With so many kinds of foolishness left back home,
I gazed up toward a few peaks
brilliant at eight thousand meters, their golden blades piled high.
Before that, and after,
I could not help but be an orphan.

I had but one hope:
to stay as far from the Himalayas as humanly possible,
and from the world of troublesome questions.
Yes, that was it.

Submitted: Wednesday, August 06, 2014

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