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Two Poems by Yi Won

거울로 들어가는 문을 찾지 못해 / 내게는 오늘의 밤이 계속된다 | Since I / can’t find the door, the night ceases to end

Editor’s Note: Today’s poems are part of a notebook of Lullabies published by the Transpacific Literary Project. Each piece of the notebook is paired with a pencil drawing by the artist Trương Công Tùng. Read the other Lullabies in this notebook here.

1 The film Fragile in Love is loosely based on the poem “Looking for Friends.”


1 The film Fragile in Love is loosely based on the poem “Looking for Friends.”

Listen to poet Yi Won read aloud the Korean

1 The film Fragile in Love is loosely based on the poem “Looking for Friends.”

밤의 놀이터

한밤중 놀이터에 말이 있었다

모래 속에는 몸통만 남은 말이 다섯 마리 있었다

희고 검고 파랗고 노랗고 붉은 말이 있었다

머리를 관통한 쇠막대기가 함께 있었다

내륙 산간에 폭설이 쏟아지고 있었다

하늘로부터 온 신의 메시지는 모래 위에 새겨지지 않았다

1 The film Fragile in Love is loosely based on the poem “Looking for Friends.”

1 The film Fragile in Love is loosely based on the poem “Looking for Friends.”

Listen to translator Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello read aloud the English

1 The film Fragile in Love is loosely based on the poem “Looking for Friends.”

Night’s Playground

Late at night there were horses in the playground 

Just the chests of five horses remain in the sand

The horses were white, black, blue, yellow, and red

Metal rods penetrated their heads

Heavy snow fell over the mountainside

There was no message from heaven recorded in the sand

1 The film Fragile in Love is loosely based on the poem “Looking for Friends.”

1 The film Fragile in Love is loosely based on the poem “Looking for Friends.”

Listen to poet Yi Won read aloud the Korean

1 The film Fragile in Love is loosely based on the poem “Looking for Friends.”

얼굴이 그립다

얼굴이 거울을 열고 들어간다 나도 따라 들어가려고
하니 얼굴은 어느새 거울을 잠가버린다 거울로 들어
가는 문을 찾는다 거울은 미끄럽고 태연하다 구름무
늬가 양각된 타일이 얼굴의 사방에 붙는다 얼굴은 벽
의 시간이 된다 나는 이제 막 내 등까지 도착한 오늘
의 밤에 기댄다 밤은 나를 뒤적이지 않는다 내가 밤
을 버릴 수 없는 것은 내가 공포이기 때문이다 공포
는 사랑이며 공포는 껴안을 수밖에 없다는 것을 아는
지 거울 속의 얼굴이 나 대신 입을 벌린다 그곳의 밤
이 얼굴을 한 줄 한 줄 벗겨낸다 맨살이 새잎 나고 꽃
필 것처럼 깜깜하다 거울로 들어가는 문을 찾지 못해
내게는 오늘의 밤이 계속된다 얼굴이 낯설어진다 내
가 거울 밖으로 고개를 다 돌리기도 전에 거울 속의
얼굴이 뒤통수를 보인다 사랑은 공포여서 나는 거울
밖으로 걸어나온다 몇 걸음도 걷지 못하고 나를 두고
거울의 밤 속으로 사라진 얼굴이 벌써 그립다

1 The film Fragile in Love is loosely based on the poem “Looking for Friends.”

1 The film Fragile in Love is loosely based on the poem “Looking for Friends.”

Listen to translator Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello read aloud the English

1 The film Fragile in Love is loosely based on the poem “Looking for Friends.”

I Miss My Face

My face opens the mirror and goes inside. I follow 
but my face locks up the mirror. I look for the door
in the mirror. The mirror is slippery and calm. Cloud-
engraved tiles stick to each side of my face. My face
becomes time on the wall. I lean against the night 
that reaches behind me. Night doesn’t rifle through me.
I can’t give up the night because I’m a horror. A horror
is love, so there’s nothing to do but embrace it. 
The mirror knows this, so my face in the mirror opens 
its mouth on my behalf. The night inside the mirror peels 
my face line by line. My bare flesh sprouts new leaves 
and grows dark as if it’s about to bear blooms. Since I 
can’t find the door, the night ceases to end. My face 
becomes unfamiliar to me. Before I turn away from 
the mirror, the back of my head appears. Love is 
a horror, so I walk out from the mirror. Short a few steps
I miss my face vanished into the mirror’s night.