Ozko Features

Ozko (Envoi)

This poem, featuring the titles of the forty poems published in Cordite 35.2: OzKo (Hanguk-Hoju), officially brings to a close Cordite’s monumental Oz-Ko issue.

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Highlights from the Korean Poets’ Tour of Australia!

In August 2011, Korean poets Kim Ki Taek, Park Ra Youn, Hwang Tong-gyu and Park Hyung Jun landed in Australia for a ten day tour. They presented at the Melbourne Writers Festival and in Sydney at the Redroom Poetry Company. The tour was a reciprocal visit following the Cordite/Asialink tour of Korea in May.

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Balloon and Hyung-seok and Bo Yeon and Seoul city rolling

Balloon’s earned his name. He’s a six-foot-two barrel of a man with a voice that booms. He’s a giant among Koreans. A gentle giant with a wide, open face. The day is hot. His brow drips when he gets excited. Bo Yeon brings him a tissue. Bo Yeon brings water and coffee. She brings a bandaid. She watches everything with a hopeful half-smile on her full moon-face. Hyung Seok sits between them. He has a long expressive face landscaped by a strata of old scars. His hands are delicate and when he talks his fingers make tiny sculptures in the air.

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그 날 (That Day)

     여름날 아침 낡은 창문 틈새로 빗방울이 들이 친다. 어두 운 방 한복판에서 金은 짐을 싸고 있다. 그의 트렁크가 가장 먼저 접수 한 것은 김의 넋이다. 창문 밖에는 엿보는 자 없다. 마침내 전날 김은 직장과 헤어졌다. 잠시 동안 김은 무표정하게 침대를 …

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포도밭 묘지 1 (Vineyard Cemetery 1)

      주인은 떠나 없고 여름이 가기도 전에 황폐해버린 그 해 가을, 포도 밭 등성이로 저녁마다 한 사내의 그림자가 거대한 조명 속에서 잠깐씩 떠오르다 사라지는 풍경 속에서 내 弱視의 산책은 비롯되었네. 친구 여, 그 해 가을 내내 나는 적막과 함께 살았다. …

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10월 (October)

1 흩어진 그림자들, 모두 한 곳으로 모으는 그 어두운 정오의 숲 속으로 이따금 나는 한 개 짧은 그림자 되어 천천히 걸어 들어간다 쉽게 조용해지는 나의 빈 손바닥 위에 가을은 둥글고 단단한 공기를 쥐어줄 뿐 그리고 나는 잠깐 동안 그것을 만져볼 …

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오래된 書籍 (Old Book)

내가 살아온 것은 거의 기적적이었다 오랫동안 나는 곰팡이 피어 나는 어둡고 축축한 세계에서 아무도 들여다보지 않는 질서 속에서, 텅 빈 희망 속에서 어찌 스스로의 일생을 예언할 수 있겠는가 다른 사람들은 분주히 몇몇 안 되는 내용을 가지고 서로의 기능을 넘겨보며 書標를 …

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A Fortnight of Poetry in Seoul

(or, Someone’s Always Falling in Love with Korea and Doesn’t Want to Leave) I am at the boarding gate of Incheon Airport, waiting for my flight to be called and for my return journey to begin. I am wearing large …

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Yi Sang House, Seoul

The Conversations with Yi Sang project, co-organised by artist Jooyoung Lee, seeks to interrogate, engage with and memorialise the work of controversial twentieth-century Korean poet Yi Sang. View a gallery of images taken at the house during the Cordite tour of Korea in May 2011.

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Oz-Ko (Hoju-Hanguk) is now online!

The task of bringing these poems to you has been nothing short of monumental. Starting with the combined efforts of twenty poets whose work was selected for this stage of the issue, followed by the Cordite editorial team’s struggles with the challenges of bi-lingual layout and formatting, and finally of course the crucial role played by our two Korean translators – 김재현 (Kim Gaihyun) and 김성현 (Kim Sunghyun) – it’s been a labour of love, and we hope you enjoy the results.

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Kim Young-Moo and Perth

As somebody who was born elsewhere, I can identify with Kim Young-Moo’s Perth poetry. His awe for the Swan River corresponds with an awe that has bloomed through my own poetic tropes. It’s an awe I have seen flourish in the poetry of other West Australian poets, those who I admire or aspire toward. Perhaps it’s the innate love of rivers, a shared ancestral respect for these points where we build our cities.

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What the Job Is: Notes on Racism and the Cultural Divide

My plan to start teaching phonetics in my Korean English class actually germinated in Nepal. I began to notice signs similar to ones I had seen in Korea, toting the English language as a kind of educational panacea. I found myself wondering if the modern world was engaged in a cultural war, an effort to arm itself with my mother tongue. A policy of Mutually Assured Comprehension.

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The Bastards Learned How to Swim

My drinking has always had a very narrow purpose, one that I’ve repeatedly given up without issue or pain; it is a bonus to rather than a facet of my days. But when I moved to Seoul I was confronted with a type of drinking attitude that insisted my commitment to alcohol be put to the test. For the first time I was taking part in a night life that had no half measures, no flip side to the coin: it’s go for a drink or go to bed. And if you choose bed, you better take a drink along.

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Jeju-do with Family: A Korean Photo Essay

“It was before the Christmas of 2008 when my brother and his girlfriend came to visit my dad and I in Seoul. That’s over two years ago now and I didn’t keep a diary at the time. I have some memories, and I have some photos, and I have some memories from some photos. And I have some emails.”

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Joel Scott Reviews Kim Hyesoon and Don Mee Choi

It is refreshing to be introduced to a literature through its contemporary women poets. For that reason, I was extremely happy to receive these two titles, both published by Action Books (a small U.S. publisher doing great things). Neither book, though, is entirely Korean.

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Oz-Ko Envoy Editorial

When the call for submissions to Cordite’s thirty-fifth issue went out last November, it included the following ‘instructions’ for potential contributors: “For this issue, while the overarching aim is Australia-Korea relations, we instead seek works on any theme. Although works that take Korean themes as their inspiration will of course be considered, the focus is on attracting engaging, innovative, translatable and contemporary works, no matter their ostensible subject(s).”

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