The Book of Korean Shijo

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The Korean genre known as shijo is short song lyrics. Originally meant to be sung rather than recited, these short poems are light, personal, and very often conversational. The language is simple, direct, and devoid of elaboration or ornamentation. The shijo poet gives a firsthand account of his personal experience of life and emotion: the rise and fall of dynasties, friendship, love, parting, the pleasures of wine, the beauty and transience of life, the inexorable advance of old age. In this anthology of translations of 612 shijo, Kevin O'Rourke introduces the English reader to this venerable and witty style of verse. The anthology covers the entire range of shijo production from the tenth century to the modern era.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674008571
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2002
  • Series: Harvard East Asian Monographs
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 6.46 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

Kevin O'Rourke is Professor of English Literature at Kyung Hee University, Korea.
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Table of Contents


Texts and Sources

Part I: Songs from Koryŏ (918-1392)

Ch'oe Ch'ung

Yi Kyubo

U T'ak

Yi Cho'nyŏn

Ch'oe Yŏng

Yi Saek

Yi Chik

Yi Pang'wŏn

Chŏng Mongju

Chŏng Mongju's mother

Yi Chono

Chŏng Tojŏn

Part II: Chosŏn Dynasty: Foundation to the Hideyosli War (1392-1592)

Cho Chun

Kil Chae

Maeng Sasŏng

Hwang Hŭi

Ha Wiji

Wŏn Ch'ŏnsŏk

Kim Chongsŏ

Yi Kae

Pak P'aengnyŏn

Sŏng Sammun

Yu Ŭngbu

Yu Sŏng'wŏn


Kim Koengp'iI

Wang Pang'yŏn

Wŏn Ho

Prince Wŏlsan

Yi Hyŏnbo

Chŏng Hŭiryang

Kim Ku

Sŏ Kyŏngdŏk

Song Sun

An Chŏng

Sŏng Un

Yi Hwang

Cho Shik

Hwang Chini

Kim Inhu

Yu Hŭich'un

Sŏng Un

Yang Saŏn

Yang Ŭngjŏng

Yi Hubaek

Kang Ik

Kim Sŏng'wŏn

Kwŏn Homun

Yi Yangwŏn

Yu Chashin

Sŏng Hon

Yi I

Chŏng Ch'ŏl

Sŏ Ik

Han Ho

Cho Hŏn

Yi Sunshin

Kim Changsaeng

Im Che



Cho Chonsŏng

Song T'a

Yi Tŏkhyŏng

Yi Tŏg'il

Kim Sang'yŏng

Pak Inno

Kang Pokchung

Shin Hŭm

Chang Man

Kim Tŏngnyŏng

Chŏng On

Kim Kwang'uk

Kim Yuk

Hong Ikhan

Yun Sŏndo

Part III: Chosŏn Dynasty: After the Hideyoshi War (1592-1910)

Yi Myŏnghan

Chŏng Tugyŏng

Hong Nang

Chŏng T'aehwa

Yi Yŏng


Prince Inp'yŏng

Nam Kuman

Prince Nang'wŏn

Prince Yuch'ŏn

Pak T'aebo

Kim Chang'ŏp

Chu Ŭishik

An Sŏu

Yun Tusŏ

Kim Ch'ŏnt'aek

Yun Sun

Kim Sujang

Kim Ugyu

Yi Chŏngbo

Cho Myŏngni

Yi Chae

Hwang Yunsŏk

Shin Hŏnjo

Shin Wi

Pak Hyogwan

Kim Samhyŏn


Kim Chint'ae

Kim Sŏnggi

Kim Yŏng

Yi Chŏngjin

Kim Yugi

Kim Sŏngch'oe

An Minyŏng

Yi Sebo

Yi Chaemyŏn

Cho Hwang

Ch'oe Chikt'ae

Na Chisoŏg

Yi Chungjip

An Yŏnbo

Ho Sŏkkyun

Yi P'anso In'ŭng

Kim Ch'iu

Kim Hag'yŏn

Ha Sunil

Kwŏn Ingnyung


Mae hwa



Part IV: Anonymous Songs

Moral Songs

Drinking Songs

Songs of Nature

Songs of Mortality

Love Songs

Songs of Parting

Reference Matter

Chronology of the Chosŏn Dynasty Kings


Index of Poets

Index of First Lines

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