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Fifteen Seconds without Sorrow


Like many younger Korean poets, SHIM BO-SEON writes in an allusive, indirect style about topics that are in themselves familiar, eating rice, taking off clothes, living in an apartment block, struggling with human relationships. He captures some sparkling moments of joys and sorrows, hopes and frustrations that have been concealed in daily life in rather modest and witty words. The circular movements of concealment and revelation of the mystery that an individual experiences are evoked in turn, always lightly. As a poet-critic, Shim fills his lines with the melodies of plain speech, with subtle thoughts about relationships in the world. Shim made his poetic debut in 1994, but he only published his first collection fourteen years later in 2008. FIFTEEN SECONDS WITHOUT SORROW is a translation of that first volume, containing the poet's earliest, freshest poems.

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