The Brush and the Sword: Kasa, Korean Classical Poems in Prose

Bilingual Edition. Translated from the Korean & Introduced with Commentaries & Notes by Sung-Il Lee. Sung-Il Lee lays before us samples of the great classical form of Korean poetry called Kasa, so sadly unknown to western readers along with any coherent knowledge of the country’s past and its culture. One will be so much better […]

The Book of Korean Poetry: Songs of Shilla and Koryo

From the publisher’s website: “Here at last in one English-language volume is the heart and soul of the Korean lyric tradition, brought to sensuous life by a poet who is our finest all-around translator of Korean literature.”—Bruce Fulton, Young-Bin Min Chair in Korean Literature and Literary Translation, University of British Columbia Korea’s history is divided […]

Because of the Rain: A Selection of Korean Zen Poems

From the publisher’s website: Buddhism was introduced to Korea via China in the fifth century and similar to China and Japan a long tradition of Zen poetry developed. This collection spans 1,500 years of this tradition with a selection of the key poets and teachers starting with Great Master Wonhyo the founder of Korean Zen […]

A Shijo Poet at the Court of King Sonjo

“A Shijo Poet at the Court of King Sonjo: The Pine River Songs” is a translation of Songgang kasa, Chong Ch’ol’s (1536-1593) famous collection of Korean songs. The translations are by Kevin O’Rourke, one of the foremost translators of Korean literature into English in the world today. The volume includes a biographical sketch of the […]

Vision of a Phoenix

From the publisher’s website: The biography and writings of Ho Nansorhon (1563–1589), one of the finest poets of the entire Choson dynasty, who wrote during the Golden Age of Sino-Korean poetry. This period also witnessed the Confucianization of Korean society, when government-imposed sanctions greatly restricted the lives of Korean women, particularly those of the ruling […]

A Hundred Love Poems from Old Korea

From the publisher’s website: Korea’s traditional love poetry is little known in the West. This anthology contains examples of all genres: vernacular to long lyrical poems. A witty informative commentary links the poems and sets them in context.

The Columbia Anthology of Traditional Korean Poetry

From the publisher’s website: This groundbreaking anthology, edited by the veteran scholar who founded the field of Korean literature in the West, offers a representative selection from the four major genres of native Korean poetry: the Silla songs known as hyangga, Koryo songs, sijo, and kasa. The performance of oral songs was central to the […]

Among the Flowering Reeds: An Anthology of Classic Korean Poetry Written in Chinese

From the publisher’s website: Up until the 17th century, the bulk of Korean poetry was written in Chinese, the language of poets, scholars, and monks. This work became an integral part of Korean literary tradition. Among the Flowering Reeds, which introduces this important poetic tradition to the English-speaking audience, includes 100 poems spanning more than 1,000 […]

Meditative Poems by Korean Monks

From the publisher’s website: Introduced and Translated by Jaihiun Kim This work is a chronological anthology of Zen poetry spanning the 6th through the 20th centuries. In his introduction the translator distinguishes Zen from other forms of Buddhism, and places it in its historical context. These intuitive poems chronicle the spiritual search as well as […]

The Book of Korean Shijo

From the publisher’s website: The Korean genre known as shijo is short song lyrics. Originally meant to be sung rather than recited, these short poems are light, personal, and very often conversational. The language is simple, direct, and devoid of elaboration or ornamentation. The shijo poet gives a firsthand account of his personal experience of […]

Early Korean Literature: Selections and Introductions

From the publisher’s website: Preeminent scholar and translator David R. McCann presents an anthology of his own translations of works ranging across the major genres and authors of Korean writing—stories, legends, poems, historical vignettes, and other works—and a set of critical essays on major themes. A brief history of traditional Korean literature orients the reader […]

The Record of the Black Dragon Year

From the publisher’s website: The Imjin nok, or Record of the Black Dragon Year, is the first popular tale inspired by the Japanese invasion of Korea between 1592 and 1598. As a collection of folk narratives clustered around major events and characters, it exists in some forty manuscript and printed versions, long and short, in […]

The Bamboo Grove: An Introduction to Sijo

From the publisher’s website: Series: Ann Arbor Paperbacks The sijo is the most popular and most Korean of all traditional Korean poetic forms, originating with the old songs of the Hyangka of the Sylla Empire (668-936) and the prose songs of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392). Sometimes likened to haiku for its brevity, a typical sijo poem follows […]

The Moonlit Pond: Korean Classical Poems in Chinese

From the publisher’s website: Unlike poetry written in the vernacular, classical Korean poetry was heavily influenced by the great poets of the Tang and Sung dynasties and was written in Chinese, while reflecting a perspective which was uniquely Korean. This is the first and only comprehensive anthology of classical Korean poetry to appear in English. […]

Songs of the Kisaeng

Original Korean poems, written during the 16th and 17th centuries, and contemporary English translations. The original BOA Editions publication is now hard to find. Apparently however it is available as an eBook from LTI Korea. According to their website: This e-book was made by scanning and converting the original book using OCR software. We have […]

Singing Like a Cricket, Hooting Like an Owl

From the publisher’s website: Kyu-bo Yi (1168–1241), the greatest of the classical Korean poets, was born into a very turbulent period of history, when the Koryo kingdom was threatened from the north by barbarians and from within by the ongoing struggle for supremacy among the various factions. His poems, confessional and transcendent, describe moments of […]