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Shadows of the Void
Price per Unit (piece): KRW 12,000
USD 8.98
Author: Ynhui Park
Publisher: Seoul Selection
Pub. Date: Apr 2014
Pages: 138
Cover: Hardcover
Dimensions (in inches): 8.5 x 5.4 x 0.6
ISBN: 9781624120275
Language: English
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About the Author

Ynhui Park

Born in 1930, Ynhui Park graduated from Seoul National University with a bachelor’s degree in French literature and received a PhD in philosophy from the Sorbonne in Paris. After spending 30 years as a professor in France, Germany, Japan, and the United States doing research and teaching the next generation of scholars, he returned to Korea and continued to teach at Pohang University and Yonsei University.
Renowned around the world for his philosophy and poetry, Park is highly regarded as an original Korean philosopher. He advocates three principles: intellectual transparency, emotional passion, and moral integrity. His writings, which draw upon his vast knowledge and wide experience, are adored by people of all ages. Park has published numerous books, including Roadmap to a Green Korea and The Journey Isn’t Over Yet.

About the Translator

Brother Anthony of Taizé

Born in England, Brother Anthony received his PhD from Oxford University, joining the Taizé Community, a monastic order, in 1969. Later, he came to Korea and worked at Sogang University as an English professor. He became a naturalized citizen of South Korea in 1994. He has published thirty books containing his English translations of Korean poetry and fiction, including work by Ko Un, Seo Jeong-ju, and Ku Sang. He was recognized for his literary efforts in 2008, when he received the Okkwan Literary Medal.


Ynhui Park’s poems are not difficult; they are usually simple and suggestive, inviting the reader to share an experience of some moment, some scene, in which the underlying void seems to have yielded to value and meaning…. His poems very often re-enact a search for consolation and peace, faced with the meaninglessness and absurdity of human existence.
Many Korean poems are in some sense poems about being Korean… but his poems are fascinating for their open universality. His anguish is that of the modern world’s consciousness of the cosmic void; his hope cannot be formulated, and yet it remains a hope for the victory of humanity over blind cruelty. His poetry is neither dark nor despairing; instead it is often humorous, light, and fanciful.

This book was published with the support of the Literature Translation Institute of Korea (LIT Korea).



I. Snow on the Charles River (1979)

Church Buried in Snow
Fields Deep in Snow
Heart’s Hill
On a Snowbound Road
A Butterfly’s Dream 
Between Languages 
Things Invisible
Though I Follow and Follow

II. Dream of a Butterfly (1981)

Skies Strewn
Flying Soundlessly Away
Empty Letterbox
Broken Fragments
No Words
Foreign Land
Snowflake Words Fall
Snow-soaked Wound
Reflection in the Mirror
Clams’ Laughter
Song of Love
Isolated Light
Disrespectful Children
Clear Bright Sky
Meaningless Meaning
Hymn to a Pine
One Christmas Eve

III. Shadows of Things Unseen (1987)

Nameless Grave
Shadows of Things Unseen
Eyes and Ears
Fallen Leaves
Why I Can’t Be Happy
Silent Void
One Sleepless Night
Immense One
Mount Auburn Cemetery
Cologne Cathedral
The Ruins of Rome
Pilgrimage to Cemeteries
Chartres Cathedral Glimpsed from a Train

IV. Echoes of the Void (1989)

Stars’ Rumor
Public Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts
The Pain of Writing Poetry
Before Mother’s Grave
Little Nightmare
Too Frightening
Conversation with a Puppy
Bird and Gravestone
Hunting in Snow
Principles of Nature
New World
Stars of Language
One Life
Ethiopian Children
The Stars’ Story
A Foreign Land
Poetic Words
Squirrel, Seagulls, and I on a New England shore
A Lonely House Dreaming
Star Debris
Writing Poems without Meaning
The Order of the Stars

V. The Fury of Elephants Raised as Orphans  (2010) 

The Fury of Elephants Raised as Orphans
That’s Nothing, Since it’s Nothing
Things Everlasting
What Am I Really Hoping For?
My Meditation
My Wish



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