Unlike poetry written in the vernacular, classical Korean poetry was heavily influenced by the great poets of the Tang and Sung dynasties and was written in Chinese, while reflecting a perspective which was uniquely Korean. This is the first and only comprehensive anthology of classical Korean poetry to appear in English.
An Old General
Pak Wi-gyom (mid-15th century)
The white horse neighing in the wind is tied to a willow;
The general’s sword remains in the sheath, for there is no war.
Before he has done his share, he has grown old;
In his dreams, he treads the mountainous front in deep snow.
“An unusual and delightful anthology translated into pleasantly worded English, this volume belongs in all poetry collections and all collections of Asian literature.” —Choice
“Sung-Il Lee’s translations are marked for vivid imagery, exactitude of expression, and… illuminate some unique aspects of Korean literary and cultural traditions… It is highly laudable that Sung-Il Lee has produced translations which are excellent poems in themselves… In the final analysis, The Moonlit Pond will contribute significantly to introducing a worthy part of the Korean literary treasury and a unique aspect of the Korean poetic tradition.” —Korea Journal
“Sung-Il Lee captures the elegant simplicity and emotional complexity in translations that reflect the structure of the original while remaining true to the presentation of their imagery and ideas.” —American Poet
“… [a] spell-binding volume… [Sung-Il Lee] has given us a jewel.” —The Olympian