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Portrait of a Suburbanite: Poems of Choi Seung-ja

173 PortraitSuburbanite
Author: 
Kim Eunju, trans.
Publication Year: 
2015
Publication Number: 
173

This volume is a translation of Choi Seung-ja’s 1991 anthology titled Portrait of a Suburbanite. Published in the series of “100 Prominent Korean Poets” by Mirae Press, the poems in this volume were selected from four of Choi’s previous works titled, Love of This Age (1981), Merry Diary (1984), House of Memory (1989), and the subsequently published My Tomb, Green (1993). Speaking with a fierce sense of equality and independence, Choi Seung-ja’s poetry battled ossified forms of language not only on the political but also the personal front. Like her male colleagues, Choi parodied and critiqued the idol of the father, but even further, she insightfully explored irreverent content to reveal the gendered constraints of the lyric form. In particular, Choi exposed the idolatrous power of the lover, the basis of exploitation and injustice at the most intimate level. On top of their political disempowerment as citizens, the private and domestic alienation of women as daughters, lovers, and wives form a deep stratum of repression. When Choi’s women personae broke this long silence of compliance nurtured by the traditional lyric and voiced themselves as exploited and traumatized, yet fearless and tenacious human beings, the shock of this transgression shook the nation. In turn it demonstrates how long and how powerfully the gender constrictions had been imposed on Korean women. | 240 pages


CONTENTS

Biographical Chronology (Choi Seung-ja)Introduction

PART I     Love of This Age

PART II    House of Memory

PART III   Unready to Forget or Ready to Remember

Index of Poems

PART I LOVE OF THIS AGE

2/3 Before, I was  

4/5 Dog-like Autumn

6/7 Love or Murderous Intent or Self-destruction  

8/9 At Daeheung Temple in Haenam

10/11 To You 

12/13 Women and Men 

16/17 Age Thirty

18/19 Rainy Day Reunion

20/21 Do You Remember Cheongpa Village?

22/23 Ooh, I Want to Abandon You

24/25 She, My First Love

26/27 End of Autumn  

28/29 My Love Is About To 

30/31 Rainy Season  

32/33 Woman in the Empty Air   

34/35 Yearning Fallen Into a Keg  

36/37 Loving Hands

38/39 Love of This Age

40/41 Self-Portrait

42/43 Macaroni Western of   Mali Estuary

44/45 To You

46/47 Apprehension

48/49 The Phone Rang Endlessly to   Find Me

52/53 Each Day

54/55 Somewhere Without Me Now

56/57 Our Love in 197X

60/61 No Appetite for Tonight’s Dinner

62/63 Therefore Someday, Love

66/67 Here Comes Ownerless Sleep

68/69 A Voice  

70/71 Where I Cannot Call You You

74/75 Were You Happy?

 

PART II HOUSE OF MEMORY

78/79 Spring  

80/81 Would You Teach Me a Bird?

82/83 I Went to the Sea in Winter  

84/85 Portrait of Mr. Phon Ga-gya  

86/87 Merry Diary   

90/91 On Womanhood  

92/93 Yeoui Island Rhapsody   

104/105 Confession  

106/107 For Y  

108/109 20 Years Later, To Jie   

112/113 Untitled 1  

120/121 Untitled 2  

130/131 Civilization   

132/133 Slow-motion Video

134/135 Release   

136/137 Wannabe Poetry 

138/139 Return, I Write Poetry  

140/141 B rief History of Spring   

142/143 A Forget-me-not

144/145 Western Harbor  

146/147 House of Memory  

150/151 Now They Must Go  

152/153 Prison of Hope  

158/159 Return, Now  

160/161 Portrait of a Suburbanite

162/163  Thirties

164/165 Receiver Is Already

166/167 House of Destruction

168/169 Never Ever Will I Pray  

170/171 The Night Before

172/173 Dance of Pain  

 

PART III UNREADY TO FORGET OR READY TO REMEMBER

176/177 Unready to Forget or Ready to Remember 1

178/179 Unready to Forget or Ready to Remember 2

180/181 Unready to Forget or Ready to Remember 3

182/183 Unready to Forget or Ready to Remember 4

184/185 Unready to Forget or Ready to Remember 5

186/187 Unready to Forget or Ready to Remember 6

188/189 Unready to Forget or Ready to Remember 7

190/191 Unready to Forget or Ready to Remember 8

192/193 Unready to Forget or Ready to Remember 9

194/195 Unready to Forget or Ready to Remember 10

196/197 Unready to Forget or Ready to Remember 11

198/199 Unready to Forget or Ready to Remember 12

200/201 Unready to Forget or Ready to Remember 13

202/203 Unready to Forget or Ready to Remember 14

204/205 Unready to Forget or Ready to Remember 15

206/207 Unready to Forget or Ready to Remember 16

208/209 The East Sea

210/211 The Capital Species

212/213 Forties


Translator

  • Kim Eunju

ISBN (hardcover): 
978-1-939161-53-6
Price (hardcover): 
$25.00
Price (paperback): 
$15.00