Friday, May 6, 2011

More than just What The !? : Ordering books in Korea

As many of you may know, Amazon.com doesn't ship to Korea. Personally there are two main websites I use to order books here in Korea. The most famous here is http://www.whatthebook.com/ another lesser known site is http://www.abebooks.com/. Abe books is a site that connects thousands of used bookstores in the U.S and in Canada. Their prices are very low! I recently ordered a few books and journals on English shijo poems.
One particular gem was titled "Sunset in a Spider Web" a collection of Korean shijo translated into English. It is available from Abe Books only. That's why I use both sites; covers more ground. Abe books is the place for those rare hard to find volumes, though you can also get The Davinci Code there as well. Here's a few shijo from "Sunset in a Spider Web" shijo adapted by Virginia Olsen Baron :
Oh, do not pull yourself away
If I, weeping, grasp your sleeve.
You have a long way to go over the hills,
And it is almost dark.

In the lonely night ahead, you will understand,
When you must light the lamp alone.
-- Yi Myung-Han.

This next one seems to have been written by a gisaeng though we can't be certain...

When I think about why
You sent that fan to me,
I wonder if you meant
For me to blow out the fire in my heart.

How could I put out a fire with a fan
When teardrops failed ?
-- Anonymous.

I like this style: instead of the Korean style 3 lines of couplets, breaking them up a bit into 6 lines but putting the "twist" ending as a separated couplet.

1 comment:

  1. P.S. : Amazon.com has started shipping to Korea as of last year! Mostly only books: Many other items still don't ship internationally.

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