From the publisher’s website:
Treasured in both Koreas, Baek Seok: Poems of the North opens an intriguing gateway into the spirit of the North Koreans of the 1930’s-50’s. In a land struggling for freedom and short of food, he treats his readers to the dishes they craved, exhibiting a Korea not in mired in the unpleasant realities of oppressive Japanese occupation, but in his imagination of its greatness.
Influenced by the visually intense landscape objects & narratives of the countryside, this poet observed for us the institutions & character of fading local customs, infusing them with the foods & flavors native to Korea, a deep & spiritual connection to the natural world, & shamanic superstition while tapping into the memories & ‘han’ of the people.
With a tone that is variously meditative, joyous, nostalgic, critical, romantic, reverent, ironic, tragic & even bitter, Baek Seok’s blend of litany, landscape & legend is full of nature’s color, palatal flavors & a tactile connection to those who people his poems.