baseball, poetry, and kim chi

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Korean poetry in translation

There is a new Typo out. The Swedish Invasion. Played a bit with it this morning. Admiring yes. Will spend more time later. There will be things to steal. On another Typo front, I got an acceptance for #8. Two poems this time. There is excitement, but I have a fever, the fever makes me a bit crazy. Why is it always, least when there is no vomit and I can sit in my home, kind of fun?

Snow today in Seoul.

I mentioned the other day on this blog how a woman in my class works for a publisher. They published a book of love poems translated to Korean. Mary Oliver. Etc etc. (that is the taste.) Fine by me. Thing is, How do they find the good poets in English (I gave her the bed side guide)? How do I find the good poets who write in Korean? There is enough English going around; lots and lots of Bi-lingual folks (Us military, English teachers, westerners who speak English marry a Korean Woman (usually western man and Korean woman), and their kids can speak both). So where is the work in translation? What is happening in Korean poetry? How should I go about finding out? I ask and I ask, and I doubt an answer will come from this blog, but I want to know who the poets are now. I am tired of translations about the Japanese and rivers and mountains.

When I was in Thailand, same thing. I worked at Bangkok University and went to the English Dept and Thai dept. and asked about poets in translation, I didn’t get any tips. I want tips.

I ask my students who major in English literature who they read. Some Plath, but mostly stuff from much earlier. And who do you read in korean? The ancients, in school, but nothing really new. There is a connection that is not being met.

If I spoke Korean I could do some translation, but I don’t, and I don’t want to spend the next 10 years learning. I don’t plan on being here that long. It comes down to this, I want someone to do for Korean poetry what Typo (the group of translators for the issue) did for Swedish work.

There must be Korean Depts. in predominantly English speaking universities who are up to it.


Anonymous Sean Mac said...

Snow in Pittsburgh.

5:02 PM

Blogger Seoul International Hikers' Club said...

In searching for the information on Korean poetry, i dropped in your blog. I'm teaching Korean poetry now. You can keep in touch with me if you are intereted in Korean poetry.

9:43 PM


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