By Thomas Page

This is a series of poems of words that do not directly translate into English. I have tried to capture the essence of the word in a poem.


The world is an impressionist’s eye exam

With the letters blurred from a certain distance.

The people you encounter everyday

Will always be a stranger to you

And you a stranger to them.

An attempt to know them—

Severe as the glaucoma-checking farmhouse—

Hazy and filled with oppressive energy.

The world can become Monet’s

Which is good and proper

To the life of a commuter

Traveling with a tribe of no-ones

Who like the same things you do

But to ask is to step on the lily pad

And break the impression.

The city is a land of nationless people

Who all belong to the same one

Because it is fitting and proper

To see the art in a museum

With living pieces with less vitality

Than the pigment committed to canvas

Blurred to show something more

About the person holding the palette

Hoping to make an impression on someone who will always be a stranger

Because you shouldn’t be bothered

To break the silence agreed by all.


Language: Korean

One thought on “The Untranslatable: Han

  1. The essence is quite poetic and heart rendering. The poet states truthfully that there are some fathom less emotions and feelings can not captured by heart.
    Thank you very much indeed for sharing this beautiful piece.
    Best regards
    Sincerely n respectfully


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