Poetry. This is a bilingual (Korean-English) poetry collection by Cho Jihoon, translated and introduced by Sung-Il Lee with two poems translated by Insoo Lee. Edited by Stanley H. Barken.
"This volume will timely commemorate the centennial of the birth of a twentieth-century Korean poet, Cho Jihoon (1920-1968). The poet's perceptions of nature have a trembling delicacy filled with emotional resonance. He sees in the particulars of nature blossoms, birdsongs, raindrops the fragility of life. The Korean landscape as a mirror of human mortality is concentrated in the poet's recurring images of fleeting clouds and falling petals."—Joan Digby"Cho Jihoon's poetry celebrates the wonder of living and more specifically the delights of nature that surround the poet. Grass-blades, bellflowers, a dead tree, briar roses, fallen leaves, mountains, and moonlight become the subjects of the poet's sudden focus of attention. Then, without warning, mist covers everything: a mountain, a deep ravine, a stone gate. In the distance, the sound of a gong resonates. The restless traveler recounts the difficulties of the road. The lover, thrilled with longing, describes his beloved. Through precise imagery and mellifluent language, Cho Jihoon's poetry in SHEDDING OF THE PETALS reveals the heart of the matter the nebulous, fleeting experiences that thread together a life."—Bill Wolak
Insoo Lee (1916-1950) a pioneer of English studies in Korea, studied at University College, London, earning the degree of BA Honors in 1940. He taught at Korea University till the Korean War broke out in 1950, when he met an untimely death. While teaching at Korea University, he also served as editor of The Seoul Times, the first English journal in Korea. He translated a good number of modern Korean poems into English. A compilation of his writings in English, Inside Cloud Cuckoo Land: the Voice of Korea, was published by The Association for Textual Study and Production in 2008.Author City: USA
Sung-Il Lee studied English literature at the University of California at Davis (MA, 1973) and Texas Tech University (PhD, 1980), and taught at Yonsei University, where he is now a professor emeritus. He has published a number of volumes of Korean poetry in English translation: 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), The Crane in the Clouds: Shijo, Korean Classical Poems in the Vernacular (2013), The Vertex: Poems of Yi Yook-sa (2014), and Nostalgia: Poems of Chung Ji-yong (2017). His dual-language edition of Beowulf containing his Modern English verse translation of the poem, Beowulf in Parallel Texts (2017) is now in the Bodleian Library at Oxford.Author City: USA
Cho Jihoon (1920-1968) left a far-reaching influence not only on modern Korean poetry, but on the scholarship of Korean cultural history and its esprit. Though his life lasted not even for five decades, he is remembered as one who laid the foundation for Korean studies. He became a professor of Korean literature at Korea University when he was only 28; and, fifteen years later, he founded the Institute for Studies of Korean Culture at Korea University. The monumental seven-volume edition of The History of Korean Culture and Its Spiritual Heritage, for which he was a contributor and editor, came to be completed shortly after his death. A scholar, poet, and professor, he was also a stern critic of society, and in many cases, he was either the organizer or a key member of several societies and organizations he was involved in. Living in an age of much political and social turbulence, he tried to get at the roots of Korean culture and spiritual life; and his lifelong search for beauty in what constitutes the foundation of Korean life and culture made him a poet with a unique sense of beauty and a transcendental view of life. He was a man who had an all-encompassing outlook on life and death, on the whole world, while being deeply engrossed in exploring the beauty of Korean life and culture.Author City: USA