Kim Hyesoon on the trilingual Renshi & knocking on the world of afterimages

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Poetry is another reality captured through absence. The poet announces the reality’s fast-approaching death with silence-filled words, and by doing so, meets her own death inside poetry. The poet is a being that lives because of death. A being that is neither dead nor alive. That is why those above sentences with line breaks are not (part of) a poem. In those shifting lines, the poet’s presence is excessive. There is too much of the ‘I.’ I say only the words that I can. Poetry is a space where the inexpressible is expressed, but I fill it up by saying only the things that I can. The ‘I’ dies in order to become the ‘I’ in poetry, but in those sentences, I do not die. Since I have failed to die (noun), I am unable to express the world of experience with verbs only. Therefore, those lines are not a poem.

— from “Poet Be Gone,” an essay by Kim Hyesoon (Translated by Park Ilhyung & Don Mee Choi)

2016-12-19T13:36:28+00:00 August 14th, 2015|