“Love Blooms in Silence” by Kim Ki-seong

Episode 13 of the K-drama Welcome to Samdal-ri features a mournful poem about loving someone in solitary silence, from poet Kim Ki-seong’s collection Love Blooms, but It Blooms in Silence (사랑은 피워도, 침묵 속에 피워라). However, the show’s writer (Kwon Hye-joo) helps us to see that even the cold, dull edge of frustrated love can be heated and honed again to a sharp bite of happiness.

Love Blooms in Silence

Love blooms, but it blooms in silence.
I worry that even a chance encounter will make you regret.
Where might you and I end up once we leave that place?
Wherever you are—no matter how far away, my dear—
it may feel cold, but let love bloom
in silence without anyone knowing.

Just as a sharp blade grows dull with use,
we’ll let love bloom alone just long enough
that it grows cold, cold and dull.

—Translated by David Bowles
March 15, 2024

Original Korean

사랑은 피워도, 침묵 속에 피워라

사랑은 피워도, 침묵 속에 피워라
우연한 스침조차 그대에게 미안한 일이 될까 봐
너와 나, 그곳을 떠나 어디쯤 있을꺼
어느 먼 곳, 어딘가 있든 그대여
시리겠지만 아무도 모르게 침묵 속에 사랑을 피워라
바짝 날이 선 칼날이 쓰임에 무뎌지듯
시리다 시리다 무뎌질 정도만 홀로 사랑을 피우자

― 김기성

The cover of Kim Ki-seong’s poetry collection in the hands of Cho Yong-pil (played by Ji Chang-wook).

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