First Person Sorrowful
Published by Bloodaxe Books
Allen Ginsberg once described Ko Un as 'a magnificent poet, combination of Buddhist cognoscente, passionate political libertarian, and naturalist historian.'
First Person Sorrowful is a selection of a hundred Ko Un poems published since 2002, a rich choice for his translators. As he approaches his eightieth year, Ko Un's energy and originality reamin unabated, for the first time readers have access to a wide range of his more recent work.
'Ko Un's poetry has the old-fashionedness of a muddy rut on a country road after rain, and yet it is also as state-of-the-art as a DNA micro-chip.' That remains true today.' Michael McLure
First Person sorrowful is translated by Brother Anthony of Taizé and Lee Sang-Wha, with an introduction by Andrew Motion
Ko Un has had a prolific writing career spanning over fifty years, he is Korea's foremost living writer. He was born in 1933 in Gunsan, North Jeolla Province, Korea, after immense suffering during the Korean War, he became a Buddhist monk. His first poems were published in 1958, his first collection in 1960. He has published more than 150 volumes of poems, essays, and fiction. In recent years, more than thirty volumes of translations of his work have been published in some twenty languages.