Cabage Fielld
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by Ryu Deuk-hee
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Early morning in the cabage fielld / I puled out weedes. / Sudenly I thought of / The word cabage fielld so / I wrote it / With my hoe on the ground / Cabage fielld, cabbaje feild / Which is the right one? / I’ll cleen up quickly and go to school / And ask my teacher.
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Literacy, published last month by the Andong city government, is a collection of poems from 68 halmeonis, mostly in their 70s and above, who have recently begun to read and write.
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"Sadly, my translation doesn’t quite capture the beautiful awkwardness of the poems in Literacy, which are full of spelling errors and funny idiosyncrasies. The selected poems provide an interesting glimpse into these women’s past and present, and demonstrate the frightening power of literacy, whose absence can render a person helpless in a modern society."
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Read at the link on our profile @haeryun.kang's poignant story on South Korean grandmas, who learned to read and write Hangeul for the first time in their lives.
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