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The Bamboo Grove: An Introduction to Sijo

Rutt, Richard, Edited and Translated By

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ISBN 10: 0520016114 / ISBN 13: 9780520016118
Published by University of Cafornia Press, Berkeley / Los Angeles / London, 1971
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
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About this Item

This is one of the volumes sponsored by the Asian Literature Program of the Asia Society, New York. UNESCO Collection of Representative Works, Korean Series. Size: 5 1/2" x 9 1/4" Tall. Bookseller Inventory # 010559

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Bamboo Grove: An Introduction to Sijo

Publisher: University of Cafornia Press, Berkeley / Los Angeles / London

Publication Date: 1971

Binding: Hard

Book Condition:Near Fine

About this title


The sijo is the most popular and most Korean of all traditional Korean poetic forms, originating with the old songs of the Hyangka of the Sylla Empire (668-936) and the prose songs of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392). Sometimes likened to haiku for its brevity, a typical sijo poem follows a three-line pattern, with each line containing approximately fifteen syllables. The first two lines mimic one another both in form and content, but the last line often introduces a twist or countertheme, not only bringing the poem to a close, but sharpening the theme developed in the first two lines.
The popularity of the sijo in Korea--writers range from royalty to common citizens--is always a challenge for the translator, who must often inhabit widely differing backgrounds to completely understand a poem's subtle nuances. Richard Rutt's translations, considered to be some of the best available in English, remain true to the unique structure of the original Korean lyric.
The Bamboo Grove will interest not only poets and students of poetry, but scholars of Korean culture curious to view history through this important and significant form of verse.
The white snow has left the valleys where the clouds are lowering,
Is it true that somewhere the plum trees have happily blossomed?
I stand here alone in the dusk and do not know where to go.
YI SAEK (1328-1396)
Richard Rutt is also the editor and translator of the book Virtuous Women: Three Classic Korean Novels and, most recently, The Zhou Yi: A New Translation with Commentary of the Book of Changes. David R. McCann is Korea Foundation Professor of Korean Literature and Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University.

Language Notes:

Text: English, Korean (translation)

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