This term we have read poems in six languages and although attendance fluctuates, members have enjoyed the meetings and worked hard at translating and presenting poetry in Korean, Chinese, German, Hungarian, French and yes, English. We have posted most of the translations here but a number are still in progress. Often members bring such work to meetings to get feedback. Many of them were completed at a meeting.
The group enjoyed a Korean lunch before our last meeting and look forward to our first session next term on May 1, 2019.
Our group is currently enjoying a break and it’s been some weeks since I’ve written though Alice, our Korean member submitted two translations, one by the infamous Ko Un. The Paris Review wrote that “The Seoul Municipal Library dismantled a three-hundred-million-won (about two hundred eighty thousand U.S. dollars) exhibition dedicated to his magnum opus, Maninbo. The artifacts that Ko had donated for the exhibit—clothes, glasses, and some three thousand books—would all be returned to him. The city government of Suwon, his most recent home, scrapped plans to build a commemorative Ko Un literary house. Ko announced his plans to move out of his home by the end of the year. Of all these acts, one stands out in its focus on Ko’s future legacy: publishers removed the poetry of Ko Un from middle school and high school textbooks.”
I do not want to promote Ko Un’s work for although he sued one of his alleged victims for defamation and lost, he has yet to be convicted of sexual harassment. In the end I decided that rather than censoring his work and forgetting that such a man existed, it is better we remember. I thank Alice for bringing him to our attention.
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