A Companion to Ten Modern Korean Poets

By Jihee Han.

Published by New Directions in the Humanities, a book imprint by Common Ground Publishing

Format Price
Book: Electronic $US15.00
Book: Print $US40.00

A Companion to Ten Modern Korean Poets is a practical handbook that connects poetry and culture with historical moments in which Korean poet-intellectuals mused on what poetry can do. This book offers a historical viewpoint of how they struggled to maintain Korean national identity, cultural sensibility, and spirituality in times of violence and surveillance. Surveying how each poet shaped their poetry, responding to the political events, it also guides readers to understand why Korean poetry begins with a sense of solitude but ends with a longing for the building of common ground called Minjung. Finally, it provides translations of each poet’s representative poems. Through seemingly transparent poetic texts may emerge the tension between language and speechlessness, hunger for the modern and hunger for what is lost, and memory of the past and hope for justice. This tension makes all ten poets, including Han Yongun, Jeong Jiyong, Kim Sowol, Yun Dongju, Yi Sang, Baek Seok, Kim Suyoung, Seo Jeongju, Ko Un, and Shin Kyeongnim, crucial witnesses to the brutality in modern Korean history. On the other hand, there is the integrity of their poetics. Although living in difficult conditions, they continued laboring with their mother tongue to create modern Korean poetry, shaping Korean cultural identity, based on folk traditional arts, such as Minyo and Gut, and finally, sharing folk sensibilities of Heung and Jeong under strict censorship. Listening to their voices, we might begin to imagine a new unfolding of history in the age of extremes.

Book: Electronic (PDF File; 4.975MB). Book: Print (Paperback). Published by New Directions in the Humanities, a book imprint by Common Ground Publishing, Illinois.

Prof. Jihee Han

Professor, The Department of English Language and Literature, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju, Gyeongnam, South Korea

Jihee Han is a professor of English at Gyeongsang National University, South Korea, and currently serves as the editor-in-chief of Studies in Modern British and American Poetry. Her recent publications include Korean Pop-culture and the Genealogy of the Sonyeo Image, World Literature and the Politics of the Minority, “Japan’s Baudelaire: Hagiwara Sakutaro’s Poetic World Under the Moon,” “Pop-Art in the Age of Digital Technologies and the Cloning of Sonyeo,” “The Burden of History: Ko Un’s Poetry as a Political and Philosophical Act.” She is now working on “The Atlas Project: What Poetry Can Do in the Age of IOT.”


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