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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Moonlit Pond

The Moon Lit Pond

Korean Classical Poems In Chinese

Translated by Jung-IL Lee

This major anthology is the first of its kind in english.  Two hundred poems spanning a thousand years of Korean poets writing in classic Chinese style.  I could comment more, but i believe the examples here of this poetry speak better than my mere interpretation.  Some favorites are:

"Life in Leisure" by Kil Jae(1353-1419)

Living alone in leisure in a hut by a stream,

I enjoy more than my share of moon and wind.

Though no one comes to visit, birds sing to me.

I move my cot near the bamboo grove, and lie down to read.

"Recluse Life" by Kim Koeng-P'il(1454-1504)

Living alone in leisure where no one comes to visit, 

rejoice only at the moon shining on my solitary hut.

Do not ask, friend, what I wish to make of my life;

An endless wave of fog spreads far over mountain peaks.

From: The Peak-Blossom Pavilion by SHin Cham(1491-1554)

Visiting the site of my past pleasure only grieves my heart.

In the yard, the pear tree still blossoms,

But those who sang and danced are gone.

From: Wilting of the Flowers by an Anonymous Barmaid (19th century)

Life is like the spring that no sooner comes than goes:

I had hardly seen flowers bloom when I saw them wilt.

I hope you feel as you read, that this book of poetry shares

the greatness thats within us all.