In the old days a poet once said

Ko Un
In the old days a poet once said 
our nation is destroyed
yet the mountains and rivers survive

Today's poet says
the mountains and rivers are destroyed
yet our nation survives

Tomorrow's poet will say
the mountains and rivers are destroyed
our nation is destroyed and Alas!
you and I are completely destroyed

From Flowers of a Moment by Ko Un. English language translation copyright © 2006 by Brother Anthony, Young-moo Kim, and Gary Gach. Used by permission of BOA Editions, Ltd.

From Flowers of a Moment by Ko Un. English language translation copyright © 2006 by Brother Anthony, Young-moo Kim, and Gary Gach. Used by permission of BOA Editions, Ltd.

Ko Un

by this poet

poem

Over the steep, panting hills where
I rest my heart.
I like the simple homeliness
of the bitch and her puppies.
For how many centuries have
such homely sights been dear to us?
The stern old nettle tree standing by the village gate
gathers sweeping winds.

That’s not all.