Modern Korean Verse in Sijo Form

Modern Korean Verse in Sijo Form, Jaihiun Kim

Modern Korean Verse in Sijo Form

Selected and translated by Jaihiun Kim


  • Autumn 1997
  • ISBN 978-0-921870-49-4 (0-921870-49-3)
  • 6″ x 9″ Trade Paperback, 252 pages
  • Poetry, Korean

A decade in the making, Jaihiun Kim‘s Modern Korean Verse in Sijo Form offers what will be the twentieth century’s definitive collection of sijo. Kim begins with the work of Nam-son Ch’oe in the early 20th century and brings the collection up to date with recent poems from Chi-yob Yi and P’il-gon Kim.

Similar to the Japanese haiku in its brevity and imagery, Korean sijo has shown itself to be remarkably responsive to contemporary concerns. Employing the modern idiom but retaining a hint of Eastern tonality, Kim offers Westerners a rich and rare reading experience. Kim includes an essay on the history and practice of sijo poetry.

“Deft, lucid, and passionate, these translations from 20th-century Korean poetry give us a long needed perspective on that country’s thought and culture. Jaihiun Kim has not only introduced each poet with careful precision, but has also appended an essay on Korean sijo poetry which is a notable contribution to prosodic studies.”
— Robin Skelton

“As a typical form of traditional Korean verse, the sijo (or shijo) has been prized and cherished as part of Korea’s precious literary heritage for over 700 years. Professor Jaihiun Kim, the leading translator of Korean poetry, has translated the choicest selection of today’s sijo into English. I congratulate him on his unstinted effort and his brilliant achievement.”
— Ujong Yi, Critic & Poet