London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

LKL book database logo

The Crane in the Clouds: Shijo: Korean Classical Poems in the Vernacular

Editor: Sung-Il Lee
Translated by:
Publisher: , 2013
Link to online store *

From the publisher’s website:

This anthology presents well over a hundred Korean classical poems known as shijo, in English translation. Shijo, a form of poetic composition still very much alive, has a tradition spanning a thousand years. One of the first historical anthologies of shijo in English, this book offers an overview of that uniquely Korean poetic legacy. Composed in the vernacular and written down in hangǔl, the Korean phonograms, shijo asserts its national identity, which hanshi, composed in the classical Chinese ideograms, ostensibly may not.

Sung-Il Lee’s English rendition of shijo captures the rhythmic flow of the original lines in Korean, while remaining true to the sound quality and the poetic message contained therein. Although the book is meant for the general readers, students of Korean language and literature will find it helpful, as it provides parallel texts – the Korean original and its English rendition.

About the translator:

Sung-Il Lee was born in 1943 in Seoul, Korea. He studied English literature at Yonsei University (B.A., 1967), the University of California at Davis (M.A., 1973) and Texas Tech University (Ph.D., 1980), and taught at Yonsei University (1981 – 2008). He also taught as a visiting professor at the University of Toronto (1987), the University of Washington (1994−1995), and Troy University (2002−2003). He is now Professor Emeritus at Yonsei University.

His publication includes The Wind and the Waves: Four Modern Korean Poets (1989), The Moonlit Pond: Korean Classical Poems in Chinese (1998), The Brush and the Sword: Kasa, Korean Classical Poems in Prose (2009), Blue Stallion: Poems of Yu Chi-whan (2011) and Beowulf and Four Related Old English Poems: A Verse Translation with Explanatory Notes (2010). He received the Republic of Korea Literary Award (1990) and the Korean Literature Translation Award (1999), both given by the Korean Culture and Arts Foundation.


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.