• Book
  • English(English)

먼 곳

  • Author
  • Country
    Republic of Korea
  • Publisher
  • Published Year
  • Genre
    Literature - Korean literature - Contemporary poetry



    Title: A Faraway Place

    Author: Moon Taejun

    Genre: Poetry


    LTI Korea staff: Alex Baek ( / +82-2-6919-7741)


  • About the book


    Compelling and Sublime Lyricism from A Faraway Place


    A Faraway Place is poet Moon Taejun’s fifth poetry collection. This compilation involves a captivating emotional world of sublime linguistic sense and a rare style of poetry written by an esteemed poet who holds fast to local customs and sentiments. It has garnered attention as a collection of poems characterized by uncluttered poetic language, fresh and lucid images associated with Buddhist philosophy, and intense sentimentality.


    Moon’s poems are bespeckled with a ‘dim light akin to traces of tears’ (The Deceased) of sorrow amidst a lonesome landscape. To a ‘plaintive, lonesome, and piteous’ (Gone and Back With the River) poet, life does not come as fundamentally plain sailing. We see an individual whom in ‘situations like a peach with a rotten half’ dreams of ‘bugs wriggling into my body again and again’ (A Dream In A Dream), is afflicted with ‘a distressed spirit’ (In The Apple Orchard), ‘could not even bind a paltry, square piece of cloth’ (Oh, I Became A Bundle!), and a poet overflowing with anguish. A sense of loneliness and sorrow emerges from the poet’s body through an undisguised and earnest language based on quiet contemplation of life and death. The deep and composed tone of his poems documents and echoes his prudent reflections on an unhurried and transient life.


    As literary critic Shin Hyeong Cheol once termed as ‘the legitimate child from the family of lyric poetry’, poet Moon Taejun respects the tradition and grammar of lyric poetry and places importance on the order of form. There is no dissonance and superfluous figure of speech in his poems, where detailed landscapes unfold in the beauty of space while languidly engraving the patterns of life, one breath and one beat slower at a time. Like an affectionate voice from ‘my aged mother/stood on the floor/let’s eat’ with a ‘lingering steam that arises from a hot bowl of rice just scooped’ (Her Voice Calls) which pervades one’s heart, Moon’s songs soothe the wounds of those who live a transient life loaded with cares and trials, and suffices ‘the making of a tonic for the soul that withstands the everyday bleakness’ (Kim In Hwan, Commentary).  


    About the author


    Born in 1970, Moon Taejun earned his graduate and undergraduate degrees in Korean Language and Literature, and began his literary career in 1994. As a leading poet who carries the tradition of Korean traditional lyric poetry, he has distinguished himself and gained prominence inside and outside the Korean literary world.


    His writings include Crowded Backyard, Bare Foot, Flatfish, The Growth of a Shadow, A Faraway Place, prose collection The Heart of a Laggard, poetry commentaries Where Poems Do Not Bloom 2, A Blossoming World in Our Hearts 1, Silent Gaze Upon Love, and so on. The Growth of a Shadow has been translated and published in the United States of America (Autumn Hill Books, 2011). Moon is a recipient of the Sowol Poetry Prize (2006), Midang Literary Award (2005), Yushim Literary Prize (2005), Nojak Literary Prize (2004), Dongseo Literary Prize (2004), and Munye Joongang New Writer Award (1994).


    About the translators


    Hannah Pang graduated from the Korea University Graduate School of International Studies with a Masters in International Studies (Peace and Security). She earned her undergraduate degree in Geography at the National University of Singapore. Since 2013, Pang has translated works from Korean to English for numerous South Korean organizations and companies. A Faraway Place is her first translated literary work.  


    Media Response/Awards Received


    ‘The poet perceives the transience of life and modestly reflects on his existence.’

    – The Korea Economic Daily


    ‘Demonstrates the ‘poetics of tenacity’ by firmly and constantly bearing with the agony of farewells in his own unique way.’                                 

    – Kukmin Ilbo


    ‘A poet’s magic in transforming ordinary Korean language’              

    – SisaIN 


Translated Books (5)

News from Abroad (2)