From Bucheon UNESCO City of Literature

Gu Ja-ryong

어머니, 얼마나 좋으신지

구 자 룡

종이로 학을 접습니다
요 쪽으로 한번
조 쪽으로 한번
주둥아리도 나오고
꼬리도 나오고

배꼽에 입김을
후~욱 불어 넣으면
학은, 그리움의 날개 펴고
당신께 날아갑니다.



Mother, How Good You Are!

Folding paper, I make a crane.
Once this way,
once that way,
it’s mouth appears,
its tail appears

Then finally
as I blow a puff of breath
onto its belly button,
the crane spreads wings of longing
and goes flying off toward you,



By Gu Ja-Ryong, translated by Sonjae Ann

Gu Ja-ryong is an Korean author with Bachelor’s and Master’s in Korean Language and Literature from Konkuk University. He began his literary career in 1969 at the recommendation of Han-mo Chong. Gu Ja-ryong worked as a Korean teacher at Somyong Girls’ High School in Bucheon for 30 years and for 10 years as an lecturer in Modern Literature for the Liberal Arts department at Bucheon University.

Gu Ja-ryong is the first Secretary-General of Art Bucheon and served as Director of the Indigenous Research Center at Bucheon Cultural Center.

Bucheon UNESCO City of Literature

Read the World

Read the World is an exhibition of texts from nineteen UNESCO Cities of Literature around the world. It opens at the Reykjavík City Hall on October 10, 2018 and lasts until October 31st.  The exhibition honours Iceland‘s centenary as a sovereign nation and the texts all ponder on the topics of freedom – whether of thought, mind or speach –, independence or rebellion.

The Reykjavík UNESCO City of Literature hopes that the exhibition encourages people to think about these important issues and their meaning for us as individuals and nations. The event also highlights the importance of intercultural dialogue and the invaluable contribution of foreign artists and cultural currents for Icelandic culture, sovereignty and developement, past and present.

The UNESCO Cities of Literature are part of the wider UNESCO Creative Cities Network