The Columbia Anthology of Modern Korean Poetry
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The only up-to-date representative gathering of Korean poetry from the twentieth century in English, this volume presents 228 poems by 34 modern Korean poets, including renowned poets such as So Chongju and Kim Chiha.
because I am listening to your song all alone, keeping myself away from my love. 33 34 THE COLUMBIA ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN KOREAN POETRY The Embroidery’s Secret I have ﬁnished making your clothes. I made your skirted coat, your cloak and your pajamas, All but the embroidery on a little wallet. That wallet is ﬁnger-stained Because I worked on it, set it aside, worked on it and set it aside. Others may think I have little skill in needlework, but there is no one, other than myself, that knows
clamp down on Korean organizations of all kinds. “Again at the Crossroads” presents, in place of a message of class struggle, a picture of the more generalized depression that settled over the Korean urban landscape of the 1930’s. Translated by Jiwon Shin My Brother and the Brazier Dearest brother, the charcoal brazier with the turtleshell pattern, the one you so cherished, cracked yesterday. That one that Ypngnam—our pioneer, the little ﬂagbearer, as you used to call him—had bought and 42
ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN KOREAN POETRY is not unaware. When you return now to the small house where you used to spend day after day in company with unknowable passion and the laughter of the gallant young men, there’ll be nothing left to greet you but the muddy footsteps of those who rushed in and out. I know this better than anyone else. But you, girl at the harbor! No doubt you’d know. All those who now sleep in a bird cage, did not live by the charity of your country, nor did they dwell in your
not what I came to think when I was looking at them eating noodles with fried tofu. At the time, I thought to lend it to you. With the virtue of generosity— I could do that. I could see it too. I could sacriﬁce even Ionesco in the Encounter. That is nothing. I was standing before it. My body. Shining body. THE COLUMBIA ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN KOREAN POETRY I have believed it so everyday. I moved to another room. My son moved into my room, I moved into the room the kitchen maid used. But, the
also a founding member of KAPF, the Korean Artists Proletarian Federation, and a member of the Socialist Writers Association. His poem “Will Spring Return to Stolen Fields,” published, though censored, in the magazine Kaebypk (The creation) in 1926, is the work for which he is remembered and anthologized as a Korean nationalist poet. Bold as the poem is in its evocation of the Korean countryside and its even somewhat shamanistic overtones, as if it were a spell to drive out the demon that has