Rigorous
Volume Three, Issue 4



To a cicada

Kihyeon Lee


I know it’s not without rhyme or reason
After all that grubbing down underground
That now you fill the air of this season
With an earful of such shrill sound,

But what could fill a heart so hollow
That pours out some silly rhymes,
Not able to sing but hang its head low
Heavy with thoughts some lonely times?

A silence long kept breaks and sings
From an existence once beneath any notice,
Like a thing earth-bound now given wings
To emerge from obscurity up to the surface,

And, with no intention to ever belittle
What’s been left as hard evidence,
I picked up a shell so dry and brittle
As a natural sign of some providence

That once as we may stay in this world,
Living from day to another day to die,
Without any wings to be unfurled
Shall our self’s lighter part someday fly.

So, don’t you feel sorry for all those years
You had to endure in subterranean silence;
Here’s one soul pricking his earthly ears
For an ever-ringing echo of celestial cadence.

If only he could lay the deep silence
Of his short life down in a volume,
Like a tear-bottle filled with pure innocence
Turned into diamond-drops to someday exhume,

As the poems of a poet long buried and gone
Would be able to find another tongue,
Not hushed but voiced by those who live on
For his songs to be recalled and dearly sung!



Kihyeon Lee: "I was born, raised, and educated in the North Jeolla Province of South Korea. I studied German Literature at a university, and my English is mostly self-taught. I enjoy sauntering in the mountains and listening to classical music and opera."




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