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The Dream of Things: Selected Poems of Hyonjong Chong

Translated by: ,
Publisher: , 2008
Link to online store *

From the publisher’s website:

The Dream of Things brings together about 80 poems by Hyonjong Chong that best illustrate his unusual poetic imagination and polished skill. In these poems, Chong demonstrates his persistent pursuit of the relationship between poet and object. It is through thoughtful meditation about language and meticulous precision in word choice that he relates this relationship.

Chong often extends his metaphors through unique word play and the use of puns, which serves to dislocate readers from common perceptions and prejudices. He enjoys poetic experimentation in order to push conventional boundaries, which allows him to convey his profound meditation on the relationship between “man and man” and “man and things.”


Born in 1939 in Seoul, Hyonjong Chong is one of Korea’s best known and critically acclaimed poets. After graduating from the Philosophy Department of Yonse University, he worked as a journalist for some time. He spent six months at the Iowa International Writer’s Workshop in 1974.
Chong has published several collections of poetry, including The Dream of Things (1972), Festival of Suffering (1974), I’m Uncle Star (1978), Like a Falling but Rebounding Ball (1984), I Don’t Have Much Time to Love (1989), A Flower (1992), and Trees in the World (1995). He has received much acclaim in the way of recognition and awards, including the prestigious Korean Literature Writer Prize in 1978.


Won-Chung Kim is Professor of English Literature at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, Korea. He earned his Ph.D. in English poetry at the University of Iowa in 1993. His main areas of research are contemporary American poetry, ecological literature and translation. He has translated many works by noted Korean poets including Shin Kyungrim (A Love Song for the Earnest: Selected Poems of Shin Kyungrim), and Seungho Choi, Chiha Kim, and Hyonjong Chong (Cracking the Shell: Three Korean Ecopoets: Poems of Seungho Choi, Chiha Kim, and Hyonjong Chong).
Mi-Jin Kim completed her Honors B.A. from the University of Toronto, graduating with distinction, and specializing in English literature. She then went on to complete her master’s degree in English literature. She has won several writing awards, and she enjoys translating poetry immensely. She has been a teacher of English for the last ten years, and she is currently the head of the largest ESL department in her region.

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