Bari’s Love Song

SKU: 978-1-64317-082-4

Kang Eun-Gyo

Translated by Chung Eun-Gwi

Free Verse Editions
Series Editor: Jon Thompson

Information and Pricing
978-1-64317-082-4 (paperback, $14.00) 978-1-64317-083-1 (Adobe eBook, $11.99, by CD or email) Translation © 2019 by Parlor Press. 72 pages. This book is published with the support of the Literature Translation Institute of Korea (LTI Korea).

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In her early career, Kang Eun-Gyo marked nihilism as the departure of her poetic imagination. In response to the turmoil of the world and modern Korean history full of violence and violations of human rights, the poet struggled to build her poetry in a house of nothingness. With Bari’s Love Song, Kang Eun-Gyo echoes the voice of a sorceress, a female shaman who treats the sadness, suffering, loss, and pain of all people. From the private losses of the poet to the universal songs of losses and love, Bari’s Love Song portrays the modern history of Korea in the forms of songs and recollections of Bari, the princess from Korean folk literature who walked the land in search of hope.


On lonely nights, I keep on writing down a blue address.
Kneeling, I keep on writing.
Putting dawn on my back to send it to sleep, I keep on writing. I
mail it in an afternoon post office.
Really, there are so many windows in the post office.
Bent births pop in and out, fall over.
Bent corpses pop in and out, fall over
Pages of writing paper are screaming. Screaming
to open the bodies of bent addresses.
I also scream and scream.
Scream and scream, again and again. I
scream as I mail off my heart.
I scream as I become a window. I soar up. Flapping, flapping.

About the Author

Kang Eun-Gyo made her literary debut with the publication of Night of the Pilgrims, which earned her the 1968 New Writer Prize by the journal Sasanggye (World of Thoughts). Her most significant poetry collections are House of Nothingness, Diary of a Pauper, House of Noises, Red Rivers, Song of the Wind, and Letter in the Wall. Kang is also the recipient of the Korean Writers Prize and the Contemporary Literature Award.

About the Translator

Chung Eun-Gwi is Professor in the Department of English Literature at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Seoul. Her publications include Ah, Mouthless Things (2017), Fifteen Seconds without Sorrow (2016), The Colors of Dawn: Twentieth Century Korean Poetry (2016), and When the Wind Blows (2019) Her articles and translations have appeared in a wide variety of journals.


Translator’s Preface  Abel Bookstore Immortality  Hyehwa-dong The Sound of Water in Baekmudong  Love and Eternity Cherry Blossom Train Poetry and a Golden Kiss  An Envelope Severe Illness A Knife My Street What I Have At This Moment  A Word A Longed-For Village A Round Roof Green Sleeves Eunpo Station A Blind Alley  Address Drizzle Let’s Make a Path Red Maple For You An Anchor Vine Leaves Lighthouse Song  In the Subway A Wandering Star Song of Three Sisters The Sound of Footsteps The Floor’s Song An Empty Jar  For a Dance Now Hold Out Your Hands A Stamen Future A Harbor At Each Valley Soil A Slope A Couple’s Laundry  Smartphone A Self-Service Gas Station A Vampire Building The Golden-Haired Tiger of ‘Hotel Peninsula’ Redevelopment Loneliness  Closer, yet Closer Older Sister Yeong-Ju Jajangmyeon Ah, The Things That Make Me Write Poems Again Today Dedicating to Myself Seomyun  The Woman in Tula The Family Photo of Mr. Taejoon Lee 1 Free Verse Editions About the Author About the Translator

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