Kooseul Kim, South Korea


Kooseul Kim (김구슬), South Korea

Kooseul Kim. Poet, Professor Emeritus at Hyupsung University. She earned Ph.D(English literature) from Korea University, Korea. She was Dean of Graduate School, Hyupsung Univ. and Visiting Scholar at UCLA. She received insignia from Vietnam Writers’s Association for the cause of Vietnam’s Literature and Arts in 2019. She earned Hongjae(Pseudonym of the 22nd King of Chosun Dynasty) Literary Grand Prize(2018) and Suwon Literary Prize(2018). She is writing the ‘Kim Kooseul Column’ for Kyunggi Newspaper and contributing English Translation of Korean Poetry to the quarterly Suwon LiteratureShe is Chair, Review Committee of Changwon KC International Literary Prize and Vice Chair Organizing Committee of Changwon KC International Literary Prize.

She is Advisor, Society of East-west Comparative Literature, Vice President, Society of East –west Comparative Literature, Advisor, T.S. Eliot Society of Korea                                                                She was President of T.S. Eliot Society of Korea and Baeksong Literary Society.  As a poet and scholar of English literature, she produced a considerable body of literary works including Lost Alleys, 21st T.S. Eliot, T.S. Eliot’s Poetry, Society, Art,                                                          Completed Poetry of W.B. Yeats, Understanding Modern English Poetry, and T.S. Eliot and the Philosophy of F.H. Bradley. Her poems have been translated into many languages, including English and Japanese.

Life is,

Looking at those remaining alive
Without looking away from life
At every turn of life

Throwing a question only once
At the moment of death

Life is,
Staring at myself serenely
As I did when I first looked at the world
Holding another I close
To my heart.

Having me realize the innermost recess of the soul.


Snow Flowers

Belated spring-snow falling on early plum blossoms
Each story hangs on each snow flower
Some flowers make an ecstatic flower path toward the sky
Others, hovering in the air
Fall on the ground after all, never to fly

Each heart seeing flowers
Winds up a wound tightly
The debris of a wound only flutter around
From snow flowers cherishing a wish in vain

A flower palanquin crosses a ridge in the waxing moon sky
The path of sad songs is filled with dances without pain
A tedious time holds its breath in the empty heart
Silence staring into an instant
Is white and deep

Writing Poetry

Writing poetry,
Is gazing at
The innermost scar,
Staring at the closure
Cautiously unwrapping
The bandage tightly wrapped

. . . . .

Secretly looking into the scar over and over again
That no one can see
Is something brave and glorious
As it means looking into the heart of pain
Though knowing it hurts.
As a poet said
Poetry is pain and glory.

Moderation of the Laundry

Seeming to fly in the wind
Seeming to go up to the cloud
The thing, still enduring to the end,
Keeps the risky borderline

The sunnier it gets
The harder it blows
The thing,
The stronger its resistance

Hung with the small clothespins,
The thing,
Neither attachment nor self-indulgence
Keeps moderation

With the pole set in the ground,
The thing, after flying into the air
Toward the sun, to the cloud
Eventually coming down to the earth
Knows its place

Helping to keep the laundry in balance,
Neither a clothesline nor a clothespin,
Is moderation and tension
Among the wash, the clothesline and the clothespin
Considered harder
Than standing on the sharp blade


An End of Life

Is straying out of the center,
Though running all the way
Striving not to lose the middle way
Staring compulsively at the middle,
Looking back,
I am always straying in the wrong way

Is evading the truth,
Wavering between the attraction and fear
Escaping the encounter with the self
Lying unconsciously
It is a way irrevocable

On the way without way without warmth
A leaden silence
Faltering to find its own way
At an end of life irreparable.


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