Translated by: Christopher Merrill, Kim Won-Chung
Publisher: Homa + Sekey, 2010.
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From the publisher’s website:
Translucency puts together about fifty poems by Chankyung Sung that showcase his dexterous command of metaphor and subtle sensibility toward language. In these poems, Sung portrays a complex world of man’s spirit with refined language, opening a new horizon of intellectual poetry, or “metaphysical lyrics,” in Korea.
It is not the principle of constructing experience, but the positive intellectual process of perceiving new experiences that governs Sung’s poetic world. Sung extracts the best of the East and West and combines them in his poetry. The mystery of life is the leitmotif of his poetry; he grasps the structure of soul with intuition and portrays it in a metaphor refined in his furnace-like imagination which melts down heterogeneous things.
Chankyung Sung was born in Yesan in 1930 and studied English literature at college. He began to publish his poems in 1950s and has written eight books of poetry including Fugue for a Burning at the Stake (1966), Translucency (1984), Silent Drama (1995), and Distance Makes Universe a Toy (2006). Sung has received Korean Association of Poets Award, Weoltan Literary Award, and Seoul City Literary Award. He is a member of the National Academy of Arts.
Won-Chung Kim is Professor of English Literature at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, Korea, where he teaches contemporary American poetry, ecological literature, and translation. He earned his Ph.D. in English at the University of Iowa in 1993. He has translated eight books of Korean poetry including Chiha Kim’s Heart’s Agon, Choi Seungho’s Flowers in the Toilet Bowl, Ji-woo Hwang’s Even Birds Leave the World and Cracking the Shell: Three Korean Ecopoets. He also translated T. Seton’s The Gospel of the Redman, and Heinrich’s In a Patch of Fireweed, John Mir’s My First Summer in the Sierra into Korean.
Christopher Merrill has published four collections of poetry, including Watch Fire, for which he received the Peter I. B. Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets; several edited volumes and works in translation; and four books of nonfiction, The Grass of Another Country: A Journey Through the World of Soccer, The Old Bridge: The Third Balkan War and the Age of the Refugee, Only the Nails Remain: Scenes from the Balkan Wars, and Things of the Hidden God: Journey to the Holy Mountain. He directs the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa.
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