Translator's notes

Two poems by Han Kang


Han Kang is much better known for her novels than her poetry, but it was as a poet that she first made her debut onto the Korean literary scene in 1993. The three poems included here are from her first poetry collection I Stowed Evening in the Drawer, published in 2013. The poems in this collection were written over many years in tandem with her prose works and for readers who are more familiar with her novels, Han Kang’s poems may come as an interesting contrast. They hold true to her quiet yet soul-wrenching exploration of language and the core of human life, but they also speak in a much closer, more intimate voice. While spending time with these poems as a translator I have heard them echoing through my journeys and experiences. I believe the poems speak for themselves and hope my translations go some way to doing them justice.

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