Ko Un Dancing

Born in Kunsan (North Cholla Province) in 1933, Ko Un is probably the most controversial and surely the most prolific Korean writer at present alive. He has published well over a hundred volumes of poetry, fiction, essays, translations, and drama. His poetry ranges from the short lyric to the vast epic sweep of the seven volumes of Paektu-san. His fiction includes the Buddhist-inspired novel Hwaomkyong (The Avatamsaka Sutra) and Son (Zen), a fictionalized history of the early Son (Zen) masters of China and Korea. The on-going series Maninbo (Ten Thousand Lives) contains short poems evoking one by one all the people Ko Un has met in his life, as an expression of his deep desire to incarnate in his poetry a radical rewriting of modern Korean history.

Source.

ko_un_-_handwritten_sample

ko_un_-_typed_poem

A Certain Joy

What I am thinking now
is what someone else
has already thought
somewhere in this world.
Don’t cry.

What I am thinking now
is what someone else
is thinking now
somewhere in this world.
Don’t cry.

What I am thinking now
is what someone else
is about to think
somewhere in this world.
Don’t cry.

How joyful it is
that I am composed of so many I’s
in this world,
somewhere in this world.
How joyful it is
that I am composed of so many other others.
Don’t cry.