For Nirvana: 108 Zen Sijo Poems

Paperback | September 6, 2016

byOh-Hyun ChoTranslated byHeinz I. FenklIntroduction byKwon Youngmin

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For Nirvana features exceptional examples of the poet Cho Oh-Hyun's award-winning work. Cho Oh-Hyun was born in Miryang, South Gyeongsang Province, Korea, and has lived in retreat in the mountains since becoming a novice monk at the age of seven. Writing under the Buddhist name Musan, he has composed hundreds of poems in seclusion, many in the sijo style, a relatively fixed syllabic poetic form similar to Japanese haiku and tanka. For Nirvana contains 108 Zen sijo poems (108 representing the number of klesas, or "defilements," that one must overcome to attain enlightenment). These transfixing works play with traditional religious and metaphysical themes and include a number of "story" sijo, a longer, more personal style that is one of Cho Oh-Hyun's major innovations. Kwon Youngmin, a leading scholar of sijo, provides a contextualizing introduction, and in his afterword, Heinz Insu Fenkl reflects on the unique challenges of translating the collection.

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For Nirvana features exceptional examples of the poet Cho Oh-Hyun's award-winning work. Cho Oh-Hyun was born in Miryang, South Gyeongsang Province, Korea, and has lived in retreat in the mountains since becoming a novice monk at the age of seven. Writing under the Buddhist name Musan, he has composed hundreds of poems in seclusion, ma...

Cho Oh-Hyun is in retreat at Baekdamsa Temple at Mt. Seoraksan. The lineage holder of the Mt. Gaji school of Korean Nine Mountains Zen, he received the Cheong Chi-yong Literary Award for Distant Holy Man in 2007, and translations of his work have appeared in Asymptote, the Buddhist Poetry Review, Asia Literary Review, Azalea, and the ...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:144 pages, 7 × 5.5 × 0.68 inPublished:September 6, 2016Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:023117991X

ISBN - 13:9780231179911

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Table of Contents

ContentsPrefaceIntroduction, by Kwon YoungminBitter FlowerDaydreamDistant Holy ManElm Tree & MoonDesire, Deeper than the MarrowWhat I've Always SaidThe Sound of Ancient WoodThe Dance & the PatternSpringMusan's Ten Bulls1. Searching for the Bull2. Finding the Footprints3. Seeing the Bull4. Catching the Bull5. Taming the Bull6. Riding the Bull Home7. The Bull Transcended8. Both Bull & Self Transcended9. Reaching the Source10. Return to SocietyRegarding My PenmanshipWeekend ScrawlWild FoxesHoarseSpeaking Without Speaking 1Speaking Without Speaking 2Speaking Without Speaking 3Speaking Without Speaking 4Speaking Without Speaking 5Speaking Without Speaking 6WavesWhat the Northeast Wind Said 1What the Northeast Wind Said 2What The Southeast Wind SaidAncient Rules for Everyman3. Amdu-Drowned Man4. Joju's Great Death11. Gaesa Entering the Bath13. Chuimi's Zen GongBuddhaChildren of Namsan ValleyWalking in PlaceThe Path of LoveAt the Razor's EdgeCrime & PunishmentToday's BeamingThe Way to Gyerimsa TempleJikjisa Temple Travel Diary1. The Way Forward2. Not Two Gates3. Sitting Buddha4. Blue Crane-Zen Master Yeongheo5. Stone Lamp6. Cold Lamp-Master White Water7. Mind MoonTales from the Temple2. The Seagulls & the East Sea3. Two Squirrels16. The Cry of Wild Ducks25. The Otter & the Hunter29. The Green FrogThe Way to Biseul Mountain2007-Seoul at Noon2007-Seoul at NightWild Ducks & ShadowWinter Mountain BeastsA Day at Old Fragrance HallBodhidharma 1Bodhidharma 2Bodhidharma 3Bodhidharma 4Bodhidharma 5Bodhidharma 6Bodhidharma 7Bodhidharma 8Bodhidharma 9Bodhidharma 10Sunset, Bay of IncheonThe SeaWords of a BoatmanMoments I Wished Would LingerYou and I: Our OutcryYou and I: Our LamentationSiblingsWhen the Dawn Comes DownA Fistful of AshesHolding on to a FingerWhen the Thunder God Came to My BodyOpening the Mountain-Side WindowProximationSun & MoonArising, Passing, AttachmentThe Wind that Once Wept in the Pine GroveGwanseumThis Body of MineThe Day I Try DyingAs I Look Upon MyselfWaning LandscapeAt the Tomb of King SeondeokForestNew ShootsEarly SpringThree Views of SpringThe Sound of My Own CryAll the Same at Journey's EndScarecrowDays Living on the MountainVaporsMy LifelinesEmbers (Afterword)Translator's AfterwordAcknowledgments

Editorial Reviews

Reading these translations of Cho Oh-hyun's Zen sijo is like shining a light on a carefully cut, many-faceted stone. The poems are concentrated, understated, and effortlessly colloquial, both immediately accessible and, paradoxically, mysterious. The Zen nature of the poems' inquiries and observations-with their allusiveness and open-endedness-bear up under many readings, defying prized Western rationality and yielding a surprisingly rich range of tones, moods, and insights.