Kim Yong-t¡¯aek was born in 1948
Shedding your warm blood,
breaking the chains of oppression and tyranny,
you opened wide the bright, blue sky,
casting off entirely our flesh, bones, and blood,
our impure blood,
under dazzling sunlight
our naked bodies
a new world opened in radiant joy
You whom we can never forget,
advancing among blood-splattering bullets,
leaping over falling brothers
into black darkness
ah, weeping, screaming,
while the hot bullets once shot
brought flowers into bloom,
flowers deeply engraved in our breasts
flowers that shed light
on that world where humans came after living human lives
on that world where humans will have to go after living human lives
we can hear it all
see it all
though we shut our eyes, block our ears
Their flowers blooming at the end of a sound of shooting.
no matter where we look
you are blooming, dazzling flowers,
fresh bright flowers that open wide the hills.
If we go out into the fields,
wild flowers at mother¡¯s side
opening up paddy-fields and meadows.
If we go down to the river,
bright flowers opening every bend in the meandering stream.
If we go out into the streets,
undulating human flowers in every street.
Onward, ever onward,
let¡¯s press on, opening up a good world.
Onward, ever onward,
the sun shoots aloft,
the southern land, scorching like a fireball,
scorches the bodies which tread and roll there,
the dry clay moistened with spittle sticking . . .
toward Kwangju, toward Kwangju
with May¡¯s white sunshine blazing
onward, onward onward onward.
Piercing the ocher colored clay
bamboo groves here and there
wide meadows here and there
high mountains here and there
you who come bearing lotus lanterns
you people of the land
onward onward onward onward
mouthfuls of dusty clay
with your drought-burned faces
piercing through the dusty wind, the harsh dusty wind
crossing red rivers
climbing over red mountains
passing red meadows
smashing false history
you blossomed with the blood red of azaleas.
to the yard of Chon Pong-Jun¡¯s thatched house in the fields of Kobu
and the blood-red-hued hill path,
onward, ever onward.
Swallowing once again red earth,
onward to the land of the burning cuckoo¡¯s song
that sticks in the burning throat,
to the land that now opens bright anew
land of democracy
land of the common folk
land of unification
land of liberation
land of freedom and hope, overflowing with love
passing beyond darkness
onward to my land
with no one falling
that does not rise again
no one leaving that does not return again.
Onward onward onward ever onward
to resurrection, the land of resurrection.
Straightening what is bent
raising up what is pressed down
onward onward to a bright world,
onward ever onward to liberation¡¯s land.