- A Certain Wind
- This volume, a collection of about a hundred and fifty poems, was published to celebrate the seventieth birthday of Ko Un, an internationally renowned poet, who is a wonder in the history of Korean verse. Since he began his literary career in 1958, Ko Un has been writing poetry with passion and vigor for 44 years. As a prolific writer, he presents general readers with a challenge to ponder his abundant poems. A Certain Wind features 150 poems that were carefully chosen by five co-editors to help mere beginners gain easy access to Ko Un’s literary world. Consequently, his long, epic poems have been excluded from this selection. Four poets of the younger generation, namely Kim Seung-hee, Ahn Do-hyeon, Ko Hyeong-ryeol, and Lee Si-young, helped select his poems chronologically. The critic Paik Nak-chung then singled out the choicest poems. Without revising his poems, this volume reveals the trajectory of his verses. This selection retains an active commitment to history and social reality, which is one of the most important sustaining characteristics of Ko Un’s texts. It also demonstrates the growth and maturity of his work as it passes through short poems based on the Zen Buddhist tradition and culminates in What: Ko Un’s Zen Poems, which caught the attention of the world republic of letters. One hundred and fifty poems were selected from the first collection Sensibility of Paramita and from Poems I Left Behind.
- The Dream
- Kim Seong-dong takes the Buddhist themes of seeking after truth in the face of an ephemeral world and dream-like romance in the evanescent life, closely connected with Karma, and transforms them into a magnificent novel in an aesthetic style. Few novelists have both the command of the Korean language and the refined sensibilities of the author.
- Frost Flowers and Snow Buddhas
- Ko Hyeong-ryol’s poetry erases the borderline between the sacred and the profane, Buddhist enlightenment and the mortal human body. Ko has intimations of his “life before birth” while meditating on his wife’s sleeping body; he discovers his poetic mission in the cricket’s song.
- Your Eyes
- While this collection covers various themes from absorption in ecstasy to the celebration of national liberation, there is a consistency in the poet’s unique tone and style. This collection, which contains a variety of poems ranging from short poems based on the Zen Buddhist tradition to short lyrics that present a new awakening through the innocence of children, reveals the poet’s warm humanitarianism and his insightful awareness of history. While disclosing the self-deception of the intelligentsia who have blind desires to dominate common people in their name, these poems testify to the poet’s keen insight into reality.