Enough to Say It's Far

Lockert Library of Poetry in Translation

Book 56
Princeton University Press
Free sample

This is the first English translation of selected poems by one of the most important and unusual modern poets of South Korea. In contrast to the strident political protests found in the poetry of many of his contemporaries, Pak Chaesam's work is characterized by intimate portraits of place, nature, childhood, and human relationships, and by indirection, nostalgia, and reflectiveness.

Often focused upon the border of this world and some other, Pak writes with a spareness of presentation but a cornucopia of imagery, meticulously exploring objective and subjective realms of existence and memory. Encouraging the reader to see and listen, and to allow the sensory to reshape the analytical, Pak's poetry opens up new realms of experience. A fellow Korean poet described Pak's poetry as being "the most exquisite expression of the Korean sense of han," or melancholy.

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About the author

Pak Chaesam (1933-1997) wrote fifteen books of poetry and numerous books of essays, and he won many of South Korea's most prestigious literary prizes. David R. McCann is Korea Foundation Professor of Korean Literature at Harvard University. Jiwon Shin is Assistant Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Berkeley.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Jul 3, 2006
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Pages
184
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ISBN
9781400827053
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Poetry / Asian / General
Poetry / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Ana Enriqueta Terán is arguably Venezuela's finest poet. Celebrated throughout the Spanish-speaking world, she is almost unknown among anglophones. Until now only a handful of her poems have been translated into English, giving at best a diluted impression of a uniquely intense imagination.

This bilingual edition reveals the power and beauty of this poet's Spanish poems through English versions of corresponding force. It invites readers to enter Terán's world--a world at once strongly Venezuelan and universally human, imbued with great beauty, sardonic humor, pitiless compassion, lucid wisdom, and joyful affirmation.


Selected from several volumes of Terán's work, these poems span half a century of composition and show an extraordinary range in both form and substance. Some are written in closed forms, some in free verse. Some are carefully evocative representations of the landscapes and cityscapes that have nourished the poet's intelligence and imagination. Others are dramatic character studies. All are infused with Terán's rare sensibility and realized through language that manages to be at once graceful, urgent, and explosive. This volume is a treasure for all lovers of poetry.




Deal Struck with Happiness
?


How much sweetness to make right the night
and this clutch of anemones
near thin smooth consoling stones,
stones havens of southern weather.
Of a woman who watches Cepheids quaver
among lightbursting mangroves.
Of a woman who offers cats-eyes and clematis
only, Islands, for the sake of setting right
her deal struck with happiness.

Elegiac lyrics celebrating the love of boys, which the translator terms Puerilities, comprise most of the twelfth book of The Greek Anthology. That book, the so-called Musa Puerilis, is brilliantly translated in this, the first complete verse version in English. It is a delightful eroticopia of short poems by great and lesser-known Greek poets, spanning hundreds of years, from ancient times to the late Christian era.

The epigrams--wry, wistful, lighthearted, libidinous, and sometimes bawdy--revel in the beauty and fickle affection of boys and young men and in the fleeting joys of older men in loving them. Some, doubtless bandied about in the lax and refined setting of banquets, are translated as limericks. Also included are a few fine and often funny poems about girls and women.


Fashion changes in morality as well as in poetry. The sort of attachment that inspired these verses was considered perfectly normal and respectable for over a thousand years. Some of the very best Greek poets--including Strato of Sardis, Theocritus, and Meleager of Gadara--are to be found in these pages. The more than two hundred fifty poems range from the lovely to the playful to the ribald, but all are, as an epigram should be, polished and elegant. The Greek originals face the translations, enhancing the volume's charm.



A friend of Youth, I have no youth in mind,
For each has beauties, of a different kind.
--Strat?


I've had enough to drink; my heart and soul
As well as tongue are losing self-control.
The lamp flame bifurcates; I multiply
The dinner guests by two each time I try.
Not only shaken up by the wine-waiter,
I ogle too the boy who pours the water.
--Strat?


Venus, denying Cupid is her son,
Finds in Antiochus a better one.
This is the boy to be enamored of,
Boys, a new love superior to Love.
--Meleager

Ana Enriqueta Terán is arguably Venezuela's finest poet. Celebrated throughout the Spanish-speaking world, she is almost unknown among anglophones. Until now only a handful of her poems have been translated into English, giving at best a diluted impression of a uniquely intense imagination.

This bilingual edition reveals the power and beauty of this poet's Spanish poems through English versions of corresponding force. It invites readers to enter Terán's world--a world at once strongly Venezuelan and universally human, imbued with great beauty, sardonic humor, pitiless compassion, lucid wisdom, and joyful affirmation.


Selected from several volumes of Terán's work, these poems span half a century of composition and show an extraordinary range in both form and substance. Some are written in closed forms, some in free verse. Some are carefully evocative representations of the landscapes and cityscapes that have nourished the poet's intelligence and imagination. Others are dramatic character studies. All are infused with Terán's rare sensibility and realized through language that manages to be at once graceful, urgent, and explosive. This volume is a treasure for all lovers of poetry.




Deal Struck with Happiness
?


How much sweetness to make right the night
and this clutch of anemones
near thin smooth consoling stones,
stones havens of southern weather.
Of a woman who watches Cepheids quaver
among lightbursting mangroves.
Of a woman who offers cats-eyes and clematis
only, Islands, for the sake of setting right
her deal struck with happiness.

Elegiac lyrics celebrating the love of boys, which the translator terms Puerilities, comprise most of the twelfth book of The Greek Anthology. That book, the so-called Musa Puerilis, is brilliantly translated in this, the first complete verse version in English. It is a delightful eroticopia of short poems by great and lesser-known Greek poets, spanning hundreds of years, from ancient times to the late Christian era.

The epigrams--wry, wistful, lighthearted, libidinous, and sometimes bawdy--revel in the beauty and fickle affection of boys and young men and in the fleeting joys of older men in loving them. Some, doubtless bandied about in the lax and refined setting of banquets, are translated as limericks. Also included are a few fine and often funny poems about girls and women.


Fashion changes in morality as well as in poetry. The sort of attachment that inspired these verses was considered perfectly normal and respectable for over a thousand years. Some of the very best Greek poets--including Strato of Sardis, Theocritus, and Meleager of Gadara--are to be found in these pages. The more than two hundred fifty poems range from the lovely to the playful to the ribald, but all are, as an epigram should be, polished and elegant. The Greek originals face the translations, enhancing the volume's charm.



A friend of Youth, I have no youth in mind,
For each has beauties, of a different kind.
--Strat?


I've had enough to drink; my heart and soul
As well as tongue are losing self-control.
The lamp flame bifurcates; I multiply
The dinner guests by two each time I try.
Not only shaken up by the wine-waiter,
I ogle too the boy who pours the water.
--Strat?


Venus, denying Cupid is her son,
Finds in Antiochus a better one.
This is the boy to be enamored of,
Boys, a new love superior to Love.
--Meleager

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