신돌석Sin Dol-seok-Write by 권혁소 Kwon, Hyuk-So

이인영·신돌석 묘도 있는데, 왜 전봉준은 없어요?

Sin Dol-seok

 

He was born a commoner in 1878 and died in 1908,

As the “flying tiger” of Mt. Taebaek, General Sin Dol-seok of the Korean Righteous Army.

 

Not knowing that he had been to the Wolsongjeong Pavilion,

Embracing the East Sea, and recited a patriotic poem, I

Dropped by the pavilion, just for sightseeing, 

And discovered that the guerrilla fighter Sin Dol-seok of the late Joseon period

Had led more than a hundred Righteous Army troops, as a general of the Righteous Army from Yeonghae

And fought against the Japanese raiders there—he was only 19.

 

After the Korean empress was assassinated and the ordinance prohibiting topknots promulgated,

What did General Sin think of the Korean royal refuge at the Russian Legation?

 

At 29, he rose up under the banner of the Righteous Army from Yeongreung.

Yeonghae, Uljin, Wonju, Samcheok, Gangneung, Yangyang, Ganseong…

These Gyeongsang and Gangwon provinces were his mountainous battlegrounds.

 

In the face of the general’s preternaturally swift surprise attacks,

The Japanese raiders took his wife as hostage, befitting of them.

Where is the heavy-hearted voice of the general ringing now, 

His voice that scolded the people who came just to report it to him?

 

November 18, 1908 was a cruel and wretched day.

Early that morning this flower of the Mt. Taekbaek guerrillas fell 

Under the axes wielded by the Kim Sang-ryeol brothers, who were blinded by the bounty.

I wonder what flower is blooming and lamenting in that village of Nulgok nowadays.

 

We must remember not only the general, but also 

The brothers who butchered his spirit,

Not only because it is an undeniable part of our history,

But because the same history is still going on.

 

If General Sin were alive today, to hear the ludicrous statement 

That the Special Committee for Anti-National Activities divided public opinion after liberation,

What would he say to the face of the speaker lying through his teeth?

 

Oh, our Righteous Army general, the Tiger of Mt. Taebaek, General Sin Dol-seok!

 

 

신돌석

 

1878년 생, 1908년 졸

태백산의 나는 호랑이 평민 의병장 신돌석

 

온몸으로 동해를 품은 월송정에 올라

우국시를 읊었던 것을 알 턱이 없는 나는

그저 관광으로나 걸음을 멈추었던 것인데

구한말 파르티잔 신돌석은

영해의병 중군장(中軍將)으로 의병 100여 명을 이끌고

왜구와 항쟁하였으니 대장의 나이 열아홉이었다

 

황후는 시해당하고 단발령은 내려졌으니

대장은 고종의 아관파천을 어떻게 바라봤을까

 

스물아홉 신 대장은 영릉의병장(寧陵義兵將) 기호를 내걸고

다시 일어서는데 영해·울진·원주·삼척·강릉·양양·간성

경상도와 강원도 일대가 그의 산악 격전지였다

 

신출귀몰 기습전을 펼치는 대장의 잰걸음 앞에

왜구는 왜구다워서 그의 아내를 볼모로 삼았으니

살아 돌아온 목숨을 향해 호통치던 대장의

울울한 목소리는 어디에 다시 메아리쳐야 할까

 

1908년 11월 18일 새벽은 잔인하고도 슬픈 날,

현상금을 노린 김상렬 형제의 도끼날에

태백산 파르티잔의 꽃은 졌으니 그 눌곡(訥谷) 마을엔

어떤 꽃이 피어 현재를 한탄하고 있을까

 

대장을 기억하되 대장의 기개를 도살한

배신자 형제도 기억해야 하는 까닭은

이것이 움직일 수 없는 역사이자

여전히 현재진행형이기 때문인데

 

‘반민특위가 국론을 분열시켰다’는 망언을

살아 있는 대장이 들었다면 그 새빨간 입을 향해

무어라 했을까

 

아 우리의 의병대장, 태백산 호랑이 신돌석 장군이여



 

 

Translated by Seung-Hee Jeon (literary critic and translator, editor of Asia: A Magazine of Asian Literature)



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