A Lullaby by Kim Hyesoon Translated from Korean


Day Thirty Seven

The mother of the child coddled her dead child in her arms.

She sang a lullaby.

This is the contents of her lullaby.

Sleepsleep my baby, die soon so you’ll be at ease, so you won’t

have to cry.

The mother of the child dug and buried her child in the middle of her room.

She also buried her child in the ceiling. Buried in the wall. Buried

in her pupils.

Nobody knew the name of the child’s mother but they knew the

child’s name.

Kim Hyesoon is one of the most prominent contemporary poets of South Korea. She lives in Seoul and teaches creative writing at the Seoul Institute of the Arts. Kim’s poetry in translation includes Mommy Must Be a Fountain of Feathers (Action Books, 2008), All the Garbage of the World, Unite! (Action Books, 2011), Sorrowtoothpaste Mirrorcream (Action Books, 2014), I’m OK, I’m Pig! (Bloodaxe Books, 2014), and Poor Love Machine (Action Books, 2016).

Image Credits: sophiexzb