Korean Sijo Poem by Yi Myunghan

If on the pathways of dreams
a footprint could leave a mark,
The road by your window
though rough with rocks,
would soon wear smooth.
But in dreams paths take no footprints.
I mourn the more for that.

꿈에 다니는 길이 자최 곧 나량이면
님이 집 창 밖에 석로이라도 닳으련마는
꿈길이 자최 없으니 그를 슬허하노라

Yi Myunghan (1595-1645)

2 responses to “Korean Sijo Poem by Yi Myunghan

  1. I don’t think the first line has the same sentiment. “If on the pathways of dreams” is different from “The road that you walk in dreams”

  2. Craig Brandis (aka Burl Whitman)

    Hi Cynthia. Thanks for the close reading. I can’t take any credit for the translation so I’m a step removed. I like the sensibility of the poem and try to learn from it, but translations are their own poems, it’s true.

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