Indeterminate Inflorescence by Lee Seong-bok

Indeterminate Inflorescence by Lee Seong-bok

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"Poetry is the restoration of the whole through details. Think of it as making a sketch of a face only briefly seen. Just as one puts together a shattered skull or an earthenware pot, poetry is the creation of the pieces that go in the spots where the original pieces are missing."

Indeterminate Inflorescence is a collection of aphorisms on poetry-writing taken from the creative writing lectures of Lee Seong-bok, one of South Korea's most prominent living poets. These 470 aphorisms, collected by his students, are evocative micro-poems in their own right, some expressing an idea that is familiar in our recognition of a truth we could sense but not put into words, others unfurling fresh vistas and worlds to explore in their exciting and inspiring poetics.

Lee Seong-bok, often referred to as a poet’s poet, was born in Sangju, Korea. He managed to enter the prestigious Gyeonggi High School in Seoul where he was inspired to write by his Korean teacher, the poet Kim Won-ho, as well as the work of poet Kim Soo-young. After graduating from Seoul National University with a degree in French, he worked at Keimyung University in Daegu for forty years, interrupted by a stint of living in Paris where he studied the poststructuralists as well as the tenets of Seon Buddhism. He has written eight collections of poetry and numerous other books including academic and mainstream literary criticism, creative writing, and two books of essays on photography.

Anton Hur was born in Stockholm, Sweden. He won a PEN Translates award for Kang Kyeong-ae's The Underground Village, and his translation of Bora Chung's Cursed Bunny was shortlisted for the International Booker Prize. He lives in Seoul.