Arirang (Fixed)

Speak to us in blowing winds,
With strings to topple petty steel,
To free our blood from loyal binds,
The cuffs of fear and hate’s divide,
With horns to call the reveille,
And march us solemn from the night,
Into the light and far from sleep,
Awakened in the sorrowed deep,
To chance a climb into the sky,
Where in the clouds floats soft a song,
To cease our hatred, Arirang,
In dark or light, we still are one.

We scream and yell in suicide,
Abide, abide! The dormant tide,
Lines the same as always heard,
That steal from us all mind for hope,
That bid us cope with chains and dust,
Spilling with our empty words,
Metallic prayers of simple lust,
Cobbles scattered for our thirst,
Towers empty, armies full,
And where you’d think our heads would burst,
We cross our legs to nearly smile,
Split in half so long the while,
In shaded binds of grey and white,
Neatly filed in shelves the same,
To rise alone in times of fight,
Sifted pawns in endless game,
With squares behind us sunk so low,
And those beyond us maimed.

Cease our hatred, Arirang,
In dark or light, we still are one.

Arirang, Arirang,
On-je wah-ke, Arirang?
Ude nomo meechasoh,
Jum sadang ejuhbodohsoh,
Und degji, napon, mechunsake,
Jungmal mani cusoh-yo,
Jugo-ya! Deji-ya!
Madapso, noh-nun Degji-ya,
Sadang opso non-nun, Deji-ya,
Jugo!, noh-nun Deji-ya,
Hanguk, Meguk, mo-ay-ya?
Jungmal mani mechutha,
Sadang onje yogi-wa?
Sadang, ude, Arirang,
In dark or light, we still are one.

The man who has abandoned us here,
Will crumble as he’s walked ten li,
Into the earth will sink his feet,
His hands to wave in futile cries,
And fears of God to fill his eyes.
And we who stand here, silent, waiting,
Our brothers choking in the night,
Will see the sun at latter rise,
Over Baekdu, where the empty city is seen,
Onto the pass, where lightlessness lives,
Smiling upon its manic child,
Who melts the winter with its tears,
And rusts away the wires old,
To free the loyal and cease the cold,
To bury deep the swelling mounds,
Where gathers waves of growing fog,
To bid the boar his epilogue,
To bleed from him our right of life,
To take from him his own.

The man who has abandoned us here,
Who holds the claim of winter bloom,
Will wilt as spring seeps into life,
And fall upon his petty knife,
To bid the sparrows false their flight,
And save the cranes their task of death.

When shadows fallen simply sleep,
And blossoms lay in mounting pyres,
We’ll melt with tears the whitened wires,
As brothers lost and running fast,
Return to spill our weary minds,
To spare the pass its wretched fence,
And bid us cross at longest last,
Where we shall live in blowing winds,
Where sun will blossom no more lies,
Where dreams, as stars, will cease to sleep,
And shine surrounding all on earth,
Where oldest man may rest at last,
And restless child may know his birth.
Where comes the waiting breath of dawn,
Where in the light we’ll live as one.
Where on will play the Arirang,
To pray remind that we are one.
Jum sadang ha-soh, Arirang,
When darkness flies our day will come.

Arirang, non-un ha-loo wa-keh,
Und ude sadang Saegah ga-keh.

Arirang (Fixed)


Joined January 2008

  • Artist

Artist's Description

Arirang is an ancient word of Korean romance, the title of an iconic folk song shared by both North and South and known widely around the world. It has no singular meaning, with vague ties to the word “Beauty” and connotations of hope. To me, it holds incredible symbolic value in the divide of North and South.

An instrumental version was played by the New York Philharmonic on their visit to North Korea, and as I watched a single North Korean woman in the audience tear up, and do all that she could to repress such tears as she was on camera and in the company of her Orwellian superiors, so this poem was born.

This is for the families who have been forever divided, for the hundreds of thousands locked in camps against their will.

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

10% off

for joining the Redbubble mailing list

Receive exclusive deals and awesome artist news and content right to your inbox. Free for your convenience.