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Sijo Masters in Translation

Korean Sijo by Kyerang (Yi Mae-chang)


Kyerang (Yi Mae-chang, 1513-1550) was a famous kisaeng from Buan, Cholla province, during the reign of King Chungjong. One of the few kisaeng for whom we know both her family name as well as her professional one, Kyerang was a talented player of the komungo (black harp). She fell in love with Yu Hwi-gying, a soldier, but the Japanese invasion interrupted their liaison. He later became a well-known general. Sometime after his leaving, she is said to have sent him this sijo and retired from her profession.

Pear blossoms rained around us,
my tears fell too on our last kiss.
Now gusty autumn takes the leaves,
I wonder if you still love me.
Lonely nights and fitful dreams
measure the miles between us.

All Rights 2006 by Larry Gross.
Please do not reprint without written permission.

Created 070913

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