崔致远 (857-900) 秋风唯苦吟，举世少知音。 窗前三更雨，灯前万里心
Rainfall in the Midst of Autumn
Choe Chiwon (857-900) Translated by Jonathan Chan in the autumn wind i chant alone. no one on earth knows my voice. before my windows it rains throughout the night. sitting before a lamp, my heart takes a thousand leaps.
Choe Chi-won 崔致遠 (857-c. 920) was a Korean philosopher and poet of the late medieval Unified Silla period (668-935). He studied in Tang China from the age of 12, passed the Tang imperial examination within a decade and received the coveted jinshi (進士) degree, and was appointed to a prefectural office in the south of China. Choe served in China for nearly a decade, rising to high office, before returning to Silla. He made ultimately futile attempts to pursue government reform in Silla before retreating to Silla’s Buddhist Haeinsa temple as a hermit scholar. He is widely considered a progenitor of Korean literature and one of few foreign poets frequently anthologized in Tang and Song poetry anthologies.
Jonathan Chan 陈超义 is a writer, editor, and translator of poems and essays. Born in New York to a Malaysian father and South Korean mother, he was raised in Singapore and educated at Cambridge and Yale Universities. He is the author of the poetry collection going home (Landmark, 2022). He has an abiding interest in faith, identity, and creative expression. His translations of poems have been featured or forthcoming in Asymptote Journal, Journal of Practice, Research and Tangential Activities (PR&TA) and SingPoWriMo Magazine. More of his writing can be found at jonbcy.wordpress.com.