You are here

I Heard Life Calling Me: Poems of Yi Song-bok

145 Life Calling
Hye-jin JUHN and George SIDNEY, trans.
Publication Year: 
Publication Number: 

This is a bilingual publication.

Yi Song-bok has been hailed as one of the most important contemporary South Korean poets. He has been credited by scholars and critics with having innovated a new poetic style that opened a fresh path for modernist poetry in Korea, and that strongly influenced and inspired younger poets. Yi's first collection of poems, When does a Rolling Stone Awaken, published in 1980, is a trenchant critique of the state of mind of Koreans and of the social and political conditions in the country at the time. The tone of his second collection of poems, South Sea, Silk Mountain, is less caustic, the images less surrealistically grotesque, the content more philosophical and spiritual. This volume presents a translation of the collections in both Korean and English text, including interviews with the author. | 296 pages


  • Index of Poems
  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • When Does a Rolling Stone Awaken
  • South Sea, Silk Mountain
  • Appendix 1 Excerpt of translator's interview with Yi Song-bok
  • Appendix 2 Commentary by Hwang Tong-kyu on When Does a Rolling Stone Awaken
  • Appendix 3 Commentary by Kim Hyon on South Sea, Silk Mountain
  • Notes to When Does a Rolling Stone Awaken
  • Notes to South Sea, Silk Mountain


  • Hye-jin JUHN SIDNEY has an MFA in Creative Writing and an MA in Korean Language and Literature. She has taught Korean at the University of Washington and at the Defense Language Institute, and has published stories and translations in various literary reviews.
  • George SIDNEY, a Korean War veteran, taught American Literature and English for five years as a Fulbright Professor at Sogang and Seoul National University.

ISBN (hardcover): 
Price (hardcover): 
ISBN (paperback): 
Price (paperback):