From the publisher’s website:
This is the first anthology of the poetry of Yu Chi-whan, the foremost poet of twentieth-century Korea, in English translation. Translated by an admirer of Yu Chi-whan as man and poet, the poems selected for inclusion in this volume provide an overview of his poetic world. Appearing in the chronological order of composition, they range from sheer lyricism to stern diatribe of social injustices and human follies, and finally to calm acceptance and embracement of the cosmic providence. No rhetorical flourish, or intentional display of poetic conceits, is to be found in his lines, only the rotundity of the poetâ€™s voice overflowing with ardor to articulate his messages, which the poet finds hard to put in the confinement of the human tongue. The translator wished to retain the messages and the verbal sinew of the poetâ€™s lines untarnished in the process of translation.
Sung-Il Lee has won a number of awards for his English translations of Korean poetry. His books of Korean poetry in English translations include The Wind and the Waves: Four Modern Korean Poets (Asian Humanities Press, 1989), The Moonlit Pond: Korean Classical Poems in Chinese (Copper Canyon Press, 1998), and The Brush and the Sword: Kasa, Korean Classical Poems in Prose (Cross-Cultural Communications, 2009). His most recent book, Beowulf and Four Related Old English Poems: A Verse Translation with Explanatory Notes (The Edwin Mellen Press, 2010), has been acclaimed as “a masterful version as close to an ideal translation as we can get” (Gregory Rabassa). He is now a Professor Emeritus at Yonsei University, Seoul.