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A Nameless Woman
No Ch'onmyhong


I wish to be a nameless woman
way out on a small hillside.
With gourd-vines on the roof of my cottage,
pumpkins and cucumbers in a hemp-garden,
the moon invited into my yard
over a fence made of roses,
and my arms full of stars;
the owl-hooting dark will not make me lonely.

In a village where the train never stops,
eating millet-cake soaked in a rass basin,
talking with a close friend until late at night
about the secrets of the fox-haunted mountains,
while a shaggy dog barks at the moon,
I shall be happier than a queen.

Translated by Ko Won.
This poem is presumed to be in public domain.

No Ch'onmyhong (1912 - 1957), also known as Noh Cheonmyeong, was a South Korean poet, journalist, and lecturer who published several collections of poems. During the Korean War, No was convicted of being involved in anti-government activities and was sentenced to twenty years in jail, but served only six months.

Post New Comment:
Exquisite - am still reading and re-reading this one,a couple days later, and think I will have this one framed, as it echoes my heart's desire for simplicity and solitude and a oneness with nature.
Posted 07/28/2011 02:44 PM
wendy morton:
Delicious poem. Isn't that what we all want, "an armful of stars".
Posted 07/26/2011 09:48 AM
I like the idea that she has no biography, that none of us has a story other than knowing the moon, roses, an owl inviting the dark to be our friend.
Posted 07/26/2011 09:29 AM
yes. lovely poem. thanks for sharing it with us.
Posted 07/26/2011 07:25 AM
Beautiful poem, love it:)))
Posted 07/26/2011 06:29 AM
Donal Mahoney:
So very fine, so much accomplished in so few words.
Posted 07/26/2011 06:22 AM

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