Kim Yong-taek


Kim Yong-taek was born in 1948


We must enter the bright world you opened for us



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


In May

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.

In May

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 mothers 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,

lets press on, opening up a good world.

Onward, ever onward,

and now

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 May

toward Kwangju, toward Kwangju

with Mays 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

rising trembling

you who come bearing lotus lanterns

you people of the land

onward onward onward onward

muching, crunching

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.

Giving light

to the yard of Chon Pong-Juns thatched house in the fields of Kobu

and the blood-red-hued hill path,

glaring angry-eyed

onward, ever onward.

Swallowing once again red earth,

onward to the land of the burning cuckoos 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 liberations land.