spring, and…



안녕하세요 !

Hello everyone! It’s me, Esther. Long time no see 🙂

It’s been two weeks since I’ve returned to Oxford,

and the city has clothed itself in new splendor during my absence…


The meadow behind my dormitory, which had been russet-colored,

flat, and gray, is awake and laughing with a thousand

dancing tulips and flowers.

The bare, spindly trees I had never given a second thought to

blossomed suddenly with a flood of white cherry blossoms.


During my time in Korea, I’ve been thinking a lot about

how moments pass by so quickly –

those fleeting, ungraspable, shining experiences

that make up this short and painful, sometimes lovely life.

I want to focus more on living those moments,

rather than capturing and reinventing them.

Sometimes we get so busy trying to construct a narrative

out of what we’ve been given, we fail to cherish those moments,

so complete and entire in themselves…


So, my posts this term might be more haphazard,

medleys of pieced memories rather than finished pieces,

glimpses of photographs rather than continuous videos.

But they’ll still be here, and they’ll keep coming

until my time at Oxford is over!

The Philosophy and Theology Faculty Library!

I always admired its beauty as I walked past it,

but my philosophy major friend got me to actually peek into it.

My postcards to my parents in Korea

(and my professor in America)

safely arrived! My mom had been feeling pretty sick,

but she said she’d been cheered up by my letter,

so it made my day, too 😀

Fresh strawberries from Gloucester Green,

a farmer’s market fifteen minutes away from my dorm, hehe

(*´◡`​*) feeling glowy and content

because milk tea and intermittent warm weather.

every day should always be so happy~


This week I’ve been writing a lot of poetry.

There was this one afternoon

where I was browsing through Blackwell’s bookshop,

sipping tea and looking at The New Yorker, and then, a quotation by

Edwidge Danticat just hit me: “We cheat death every day.”

Or more literally, when translated from the Creole expression,

“We carry our coffins with us every day.”

Suddenly, a poem that had been simmering inside me

during my entire spring vacation in Korea,



I sat down hastily and began scribbling in a frenzy,

almost as if drunk, seizing flyers and advertisements

to scrawl on because I had no paper at hand.

By the end of the afternoon I had six pages of poetry,

spilling out of me like wild bees.


What a gift it is to write.

Isn’t it funny that so much of my writing

returns to Korea,

and yet I can never quite write when I’m in it?

Too busy living to be writing, maybe.

Too busy laughing and crying,

in a way I never do when I’m abroad.

I admire people who write for writing’s sake.

Who say poetry is all they need. These are the real poets.

For me, poetry pales in comparison to life.

Writing is only ever a substitute

to what it means to love the people around me.


In any case, usually when I write about Korea, or my family,

it’s only in retrospection.

It’s only when I step into another country

that I can pick up my pen, sit down alone,

and start writing about what it means to go home. 🌷

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