A Hundred Love Poems from Old Korea

Editor / Translator: Kevin O'Rourke
Korea's traditional love poetry is little known in the West. This anthology contains examples of all genres: vernacular to long lyrical poems. A witty informative commentary links the poems and sets them in context.

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Acknowledgements; Glossary; Introduction; 1 Hwangjo ka (Song of the Orioles); 2 So?dong yo (So?dong’s Song); 3 Ho?nhwa ka (Song of Presenting the Flowers); 4 Hae kasa (Song of the Sea); 5 Ch’o?yong ka (Ch’o?yong’s Song); 6 Cho?ngu?p sa (Song of Cho?ngu?p); 7 So?gyo?ng pyo?lgok (Song of P’yo?ngyang); 8 Ssanghwa cho?m (The Mandu Shop); 9 Chongso?k ka (Chongso?k’s Song); 10 Manjo?n ch’un (Spring Pervades the Pavilion); 11 Isang kok (Treading the Frost); 12 Kashiri (Must You Go?); 13 Yugu kok (Song of the Cuckoo); 14 Seeing Off a Friend; 15 Send-off; 16 Presented to a Kisaeng at a Drinking Party after an Illness; 17 The Secretary Got a Beautiful Kisaeng to Bring Me Paper and Request a Poem; My Brush Flew and I Presented This; 18 Moonlight white on white pear blossoms; 19 Endangered Treasure; 20 Waiting; 21 Parting from My Love in Yangju Inn; 22 Kangnam Song; 23 In Imitation of an Old Song; 24 Spending the Night Alone; 25 I’m a fool at heart; 26 Heart, what is the secret; 27 Farewell to So Yanggok; 28 Song to the Half-moon; 29 Dream of Fond Lovers; 30 Small White-pine Boat; 31 I’ll cut a piece from the waist; 32 Ah, what have I done?; 33 When was I faithless; 34 Blue stream, do not boast; 35 Presented to a Kisaeng in P’yo?ngyang; 36 Samiin kok (Love Song); 37 Sokmiin kok (Love Song Continued); 38 Parting Without Words; 39 The northern sky was clear; 40 What’s all this about freezing in bed; 41 Love is a lie; 42 The incense in the golden censer has all burned out; 43 Picking Lotus Seeds; 44 To My Lord Reading in His Study; 45 Kyuwo?n ka (Song of the Bitter Heart of a Woman); 46 My Wife Calls Out a Rhyme for a Poem; 47 Rainy Night Medley; 48 Grudging a Beloved Husband; 49 My Word; 50 The Sorrow of Parting; 51 To My Love; 52 The day we parted, I cannot say; 53 Presented Playfully to Someone by the Road; 54 I’ve cut a mountain willow, my love; 55 Song of the Lotus Seeds; 56 Wife, wife, since the day we wed; 57 Look at that girl in blouse and patterned skirt; 58 Perhaps I am a magnet; 59 Of all the dogs around me, spotted, black, and hairy; 60 Ah, the variety; 61 Within the higher ranks of the military office; 62 Eat, she says, her rotten bean-curd pancakes, fried in cold water; 63 Listen to me, girl; 64 I lay my head on the pillow; 65 I’ll never forget the boy; 66 What is love like?; 67 Look at the butterfly, how it dances for the flower; 68 Butterfly, let’s go to the green mountain; 69 I’m leaving now; 70 Flower, trust not in beauty; 71 Girl, don’t be haughty; 72 A snow moon fills the window; 73 Moon, round moon, moon that shines; 74 Fair as a flower; 75 Girl, I’ve painted a plum tree; 76 On the evidence of last night’s encounter; 77 Ride a horse through a field of flowers; 78 Holding up the hem of her purple mantle; 79 My horse is neighing for the road; 80 When my love and I parted; 81 With tears I beg you: don’t brush aside; 82 Parting turns to fire; 83 The anchor is raised; 84 Like a hen-pheasant chased by a hawk; 85 Iced rice water; 86 Last night I slept alone, curled like a shrimp; 87 Cock, don’t crow. I’ll take off my clothes; 88 Dog, black dog, fool of a dog; 89 My thundering love I meet; 90 When I grasp my girl’s wrist; 91 Six crock bowls the bride smashed; 92 It is the third watch.The girl in the bridal bedroom is so gentle; 93 Ah, I saw him; 94 The monk that slept here must, after all, have been a man; 95 Rip your black robe asunder; fashion a pair of breeches; 96 On the road that twists beneath the pines; 97 ‘Ahem, who’s there?’ comes cough and query; 98 Song of Fidelity; 99 Song of Dissipation; 100 Song of Pent-up Feelings; 101 Song of Sangwo?lli; 102 The Pain of the Fisherman’s Wife; 103 Lady Pyo?n Sungae was slender and lovely; she was also prudent . . . ; 104 How could the heart that loved the flower; 105 Spring returns; Notes; Index of First Lines; Index of Poets; Bibliography