Azaleas: A Book of Poems (Weatherhead Books on Asia) by Kim Sowol

By Kim Sowol

On hand for the 1st time in English, Azaleas is an enthralling selection of poems by means of a grasp of the early Korean modernist sort. released in 1925, Azaleas is the one assortment Kim Sowol (1902-1934) produced in the course of his short lifestyles, but he continues to be considered one of Korea's so much cherished and recognized poets. His paintings is a pleasant and complicated combination of the photographs, tonalities, and rhythms of conventional Korean folks songs with unusually sleek types and subject matters. Sowol can also be recognized for his precise and occasionally unsettling standpoint, expressed via loneliness, longing, and an inventive use of dream imagery-a mirrored image of Sowol's engagement with French Symbolist poetry.

Azaleas recounts the adventure of a tender Korean as he travels from the northern P'yongyang quarter almost about the cosmopolitan capital of Seoul. instructed via an array of voices, the poems describe the younger man's activities as he leaves domestic, his reviews as a scholar and author in Seoul, and his go back north. even supposing thought of a landmark of Korean literature, Azaleas speaks to readers from all cultures. An essay by way of Sowol's mentor, the poet Kim okay, concludes the gathering and offers very important perception into Sowol's paintings and existence. This dependent translation by means of David R. McCann, knowledgeable on smooth Korean poetry, continues the immediacy and richness of Sowol's paintings and stocks with English-language readers the quiet great thing about a poet who keeps to solid a strong spell on generations of Korean readers.

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Extra info for Azaleas: A Book of Poems (Weatherhead Books on Asia)

Example text

F o r m y l o v e 19 The Old Stories As the dark night quietly draws on, as night draws nearer the dim lamp’s light, alone in pain and solitude I cry endless tears. Before, I knew nothing of tears, as I passed along this small stretch of life. The old stories of long, long ago I learned with no sense of their sorrows. But now that my love has gone away, gone and truly left me, everything I had thought was mine has slipped away, now is lost. Only those stories I learned long ago, those alone remain with me.

1 8 a z a l e a s On the Mountain Up on the mountain, looking out where the sea blocks the way, before my eyes, floating in a dream, a dream of sky, the village appears where my love now stays. As idle boat songs drift in from afar by the landing place crossing the white sands, day turns dark, fog thickens and covers, while the waves break into flowers falling far away. Nightfall at last, the water birds cry, the boats, one, then two, set out after the waves, over the vast sea, the very sea, and are gone like fallen leaves.

I need a dream! 44 a z a l e a s Day of Worries On this day you were to come you haven’t! This day of worries, fretting as if you were coming! All at once the sun is down, and the day, dark. n o o n e l o n e m o u n t a i n 45 Sky’s Edge Mine to all at once leave the house, scramble up the mountain and be there looking down on the sea. The boat is out, sailing the sky’s edge. 46 a z a l e a s Ant When azaleas blossom and winds noise about the willow’s branches, the ant works steadily, narrow-waisted ant, for half a spring day, all of today again, steadily wearing itself out to build its house.

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