Syndic Literary Journal

Syndic No.47 ~ Choi Dongho – The Old Man

The Old Man and the Horizon 

Written by Choi Dongho

Translated from the Korean by Kim Kooseul and Darcy Paquet

Narrated by Bill Wolak

South Korea


The stooped silhouette

Of the old man pulling his dog

The horizon under his knees

Courteous as a faithful servant

Attending his master of his past life


In the afterlife the dog will become the master

The old man a dog;

They will be living a life of the future

Pulling each other’s silhouettes

After the wave from the far sea

Has sent back the last remnants of darkness

Slapping its buttocks at the coastline


The children playing with the dog on the sand

Where the dawn seagulls honk for food

Will also roll the wheel of life

And one day again at sunset

Become old men pulling the dark sun

With their stooped silhouettes,

The horizon under their knees


Choi Dongho is a poet, critic, and scholar who has earned numerous major prizes and honors. A member of Korean National Academy of Arts, he is a Distinguished Professor at Kyungnam University, as well as a Professor Emeritus. He is the Chair of the Changwon KC International Literary Prize and President of the KS World Poetry Festival. His work has been translated into many languages including the English version, Monarch Butterfly (Mundus Artium Press, 2021) supported by the Daesan Foundation.
Kim Kooseul  is a South Korean poet, scholar and translator.  Here latest book translated into English is Lost Alleys, Mundus Artium Press, 2020. She has earned numerous major prizes and honors. A specialist in English and other literary traditions, she is a Professor Emeritus at Hyupsung University. The publisher of Lyric Poetry and Poetics, she is the organizer of the Changwon KC International Literary Prize and the KS World Poetry Festival. Her work has been translated into many languages.
Darcy Paquet is a film critic and translator who has been living in South Korea since 1997. He has translated the subtitles for over 150 Korean films including Parasite (2019). The author of New Korean Cinema: Breaking the Waves (Columbia University Press), he teaches at the Busan Asia Film School and has also taught a media translation workshop at the Literature Translation Institute of Korea.

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