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5.0 out of 5 stars New Translation of Influential 20th Century Korean Poet, 8 Jan 2008
By 
A. J. O. Donnell "dspare_ltd" (Lancaster) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Everything Yearned for: Manhae's Poems of Love and Longing (Hardcover)
Han Yong Eun (whose Chinese sobriquet was 'Manhae' and who's usually known by Koreans as 'Manhae Han Yong Eun') was a Buddhist monk, poet and socialist activist who lived during the Japanese occupation of Korea.

[...]

Those familiar with Han Yong Eun may already own previous translations of this collection, first published in Korea in 1926, and has been variously translated as 'Love's Silence' and 'Meditations of the Lover' (to my knowledge the former came out in the 1990's and is an adequate, interesting, and more literal translation from the Korean and would be good as an introduction to the work of this poet in English, the latter being a translation from the 50's/60's which, while being a very good literal approximation of the Korean by its Korean translators, unfortunately loses a lot of the poetic nuances and often reads as a kind of dictionary-led interpretation that abandons the poetic soul of the poetry.

With THIS translation, however, we have a thoroughly modern update of a poet very important to 20th Century Korean poetry. While I'm not at all familiar with Francisca Cho's work it is obvious from these versions that, for the first time, we have readings of the poetry that really engage with an English that makes the poems more than the sum of their parts... I would guess that this translator is equally fluent in both languages and this makes the poems all the more engaging without losing the refreshing directness and honesty that characterises Korean poetry more generally. A very important interpretation of a poet essential to the politics and culture of his time.

For the more ambitious Koreaophiles... if there's one Korean poet you should try to decipher in the original it is this poet (the collection, in the Korean is usually rendered 'Nim Ee Chimmuk' in English and is sometimes compiled with Han Yong Eun's later poems).
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Everything Yearned for: Manhae's Poems of Love and Longing
Everything Yearned for: Manhae's Poems of Love and Longing by Francisca Cho (Hardcover - 28 Feb 2005)
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