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Peace, Poetry, and Negation

Peace, Poetry, and Negation Korea From the Outside Robert Pinsky summer of 2005. The undertaking seemed less quixotic and more practical after I learned a little about the figure from whom the Manhae Foundation takes its name. In Manhae (born Han Yong-un), Koreans can celebrate a great modernist poet who is also a central figure in Korean religion, culture, and politics. An American poet reads with some astonishment that Manhae, a monk and religious reformer who profoundly influenced Buddhist thought and practice, was also a coauthor of the Korean Declaration of Independence. Accomplishments comparable to those of Thomas Jefferson, Walt Whitman, and Ralph Waldo Emerson, achieved by someone born in 1879 (the same year as the American businessman-poet Wallace Stevens). This unusual, comprehensive centrality of Manhae may tempt even Western poets to feel some tiny glint of reflected glory. It also intimidates us: what can one offer in the context of such an imposing model? At that gathering in Seoul, where poets from around the world were invited to think about the somewhat vague ideal of peace, the challenge was perhaps the more poignant for The original form of this essay was presented at the Paektamsa Temple, South Korea, in 2005, and http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Azalea: Journal of Korean Literature & Culture University of Hawai'I Press

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 President and Fellows of Harvard College
ISSN
1944-6500
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Korea From the Outside Robert Pinsky summer of 2005. The undertaking seemed less quixotic and more practical after I learned a little about the figure from whom the Manhae Foundation takes its name. In Manhae (born Han Yong-un), Koreans can celebrate a great modernist poet who is also a central figure in Korean religion, culture, and politics. An American poet reads with some astonishment that Manhae, a monk and religious reformer who profoundly influenced Buddhist thought and practice, was also a coauthor of the Korean Declaration of Independence. Accomplishments comparable to those of Thomas Jefferson, Walt Whitman, and Ralph Waldo Emerson, achieved by someone born in 1879 (the same year as the American businessman-poet Wallace Stevens). This unusual, comprehensive centrality of Manhae may tempt even Western poets to feel some tiny glint of reflected glory. It also intimidates us: what can one offer in the context of such an imposing model? At that gathering in Seoul, where poets from around the world were invited to think about the somewhat vague ideal of peace, the challenge was perhaps the more poignant for The original form of this essay was presented at the Paektamsa Temple, South Korea, in 2005, and

Journal

Azalea: Journal of Korean Literature & CultureUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: May 1, 2007

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