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Day-Shine: Poems by CHONG Hyon-Jong

94 DayShine
Translated and introduced by Wolhee CHOE and Peter FUSCO
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Powerfully inventive poems of love in contemporary life by Chong Hyon-jong, one of the most respected poets writing in Korea. The novelty of his poetic language with its narrative lyricism and provacative philosophy makes it impossible to classify Chong's poetry, and yet it is a holder of tradition which embodies the laws of life as seen by gifted poets in the zen poetic tradition of Korea. Chong Hyon-jong exposes contemporary reality, like a prophet, with profound insight. | 128 pages


I The Smell of the Earth

  • Four Seasons for Trees
  • To Get Attached to Someplace Is Hell — May 1980, Kwangju
  • Self-Deception
  • Calf
  • Movement, What Beauty, for the Grace of Trees
  • In Autumn
  • A Lullaby — At night with Insomnia
  • The Smell of Earth
  • Ubiquitously Pitiful
  • The Gossamer Thread of Life
  • The Rural Night Bus
  • In Praise of Dusk
  • So Little Time to Love
  • Natureward
  • The Desolate Field
  • Certain Sorrow
  • A Certain Handkerchief
  • Body Movements
  • A Choice Landscape
  • Sorrow
  • Day-Shine
  • Sleep-Talking
  • Water Sounds
  • Had I Known Each Instant Was a Flower in Bud
  • Enclasped
  • Art! — To Mikhail Baryshnikov
  • In the Forest

II Depthless Heart

  • Depthless Heart — October 1974 in Iowa
  • Eating a White Radish
  • In Haktong Village
  • Empty Room
  • Through Walking Again Today — A Back Alley of History
  • Creative Writing 101: Poetry
  • Like a Ghost
  • Dilemma 2
  • Country School House
  • Rice — Autumn 1985
  • Intermission — A Night in College Town (Shinch'on)
  • As to My Intertia — A Shadow of the Dead
  • A Fresh Laid Egg
  • The Death God of Civilization
  • To Poverty — India Poem I
  • It's Not Going Anywhere — India Poem II
  • You Must Lose to Gain — India Poem III
  • Hands —India Poem IV
  • A Dream Like a Tree
  • Unpaved Depth
  • What Are You Looking At?
  • Blossom
  • A Certain Peace
  • Portrait of a Youth
  • Obscenity
  • Enthusiasm
  • Commodities: Gods of the Material and Opium
  • To Cheju Island

III Looking Into the Grass

  • When I See a Whole in the Wall
  • In Front of a Glass of Wine
  • Movement Initiated — In Last Night's Dream
  • I Have Jumped Off the Sun
  • All <In-between> Is Pitiful
  • With This Key
  • Leaning on Birds
  • In Praise of Thunder
  • Who Can You Be
  • The Cloud I Lost
  • The Bee Sting
  • As Autumn Leaves
  • A Thing Called the Body
  • Upon Arriving at Lake Maeji
  • The Abyss of Sound
  • Life-Mandala
  • While Blanketing the Earth — I Am Ant
  • Looking into the Grass
  • Fallen Leaves
  • Like Leaving Your Umbrella Behind
  • As for the Body
  • 0
  • Breath and Dream —On Poetry by Chong Hyon-jong


  • "This volume introduced to me a remarkable voice from a Korea I hardly know ... The imagery is haunting ... and precise ... Thanks to these sensual translations, we meet a 'mind uncircumscribed' " — David Shapiro
  • "Offers superb translation of a poet whose originality in his use of language makes a completely successful rendition impossible. The effort here, however, is both supreme and commendable." — World Literature Today 
  • "Succeeds admirably in communicating the particular imaginative sensibility ... that makes verbal utterances poems. I wish this volume many readers." — Pacific Affairs

  • Wolhee Choe, Professor of English at Polytechnic University, is the author or translator of other books on poetry, painting, and poetics.
  • Peter Fusco, poet, translator, and teacher of classical literature, died in Spring 1996.
  • The illustrations in this volume are the work of Wonsook Kim Linton, a painter whose numerous exhibitions span the U.S., Asia, and Europe. She lives with her husband in New York City. 

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