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Fugitive Dreams – Poems by Sowol Kim

Translated by: ,
Publisher: , 1998
Link to online store *

From the publisher’s website:

With the appearance of this English translation, Western readers will for the first time be able to appreciate the poetry of Korea’s most revered and popular modern poet. Born at the beginning of the twentieth century, Sowol Kim was the first poet to introduce the Korean vernacular into poetry. His verse combines sharply edged, everyday phrasing with a lyrical lightness of expression that is unique among modern poets. His poems on loss and death evoke the transience of life with a beauty that transcends despair — the triumph of his art.

Sowol has been well served in this translation in which Jaihiun Kim, one of Korea’s finer poets and translators, has combined with Ronald B. Hatch to present Sowol’s poetry in an English translation that is always contemporary yet echoes Sowol’s Eastern tonalities.


How I yearn for the sea today
as the salt tears gather
A memory of your tenderness,
the powder-soft touch of your hand,
and I tremble like an aspen in summer,
while my heart sounds a long ache of darkness

Entry on here.

* Where the book is available from a number of sources, they are prioritised as follows: (1) Amazon UK site, or for the more recent uploads (2) Amazon US site (3) Other sites in US or Europe, including second-hand outlets (4) LTI Korea, where the title is advertised as available from there (5) Onlines stores in Korea. Links to and Amazon UK site contain an affiliate code which, should you make a purchase, gives a small commission to LKL at no additional cost to you.