The Board of the SPE this year unanimously made the decision to declare the South Korean poet, Ko Un as the winner of the “Golden Wreath” of the 53nd edition of the world renowned poetic manifestation “Struga Poetry Evenings” for 2014.
By awarding the “Golden Wreath” of SPE for 2014 award to Ko Un, the “Struga Poetry Evenings” once again establish their high goal – to preserve the spiritual unity of the world through differences, and to prove that the poetic language is unique, universal and comprising of all the spoken languages of the world.
Ko Un was born in 1933, which means that today he is nearer 80 than 70. He is surely Korea’s most prolific writer and he himself cannot say for sure how many books he has published in all. He guesses that it must be about 140, volumes of many different kinds of poetry, epic, narrative, and lyric, as well as novels, plays, essays, and translations from classical Chinese.
In the last two decades he has made journeys to many parts of the world, including Australia, Vietnam, the Netherlands, Mexico, Sweden, Venice, Istanbul . . . He makes a deep impression wherever he goes, especially when he is reading his poems in the husky, tense, dramatic manner he favors. It seems to make little or no difference that most of his audience cannot understand a word he is saying. He speaks little or no English but time after time a deep communication is established before anyone reads an English translation or summary of what he had been saying. After the drama of his own performance, the translations usually sound rather flat.
Ko Un’s ability to communicate beyond language is a gift that other Korean writers can only envy him for. There are some people who do not seem to need words in order to communicate, it is part of their charisma. There are many barriers to communication and many are the arts by which people have tried to overcome them. In the case of Ko Un, who cannot be every day giving readings, there is an urgent need to make translations of his work available. In bringing Ko Un’s writings to a world audience, I am acting to make cross-cultural communication possible in one particular case.
Books of Poems
Other World Sensibility(1960), Seaside Poems(1966), God, the Last Village of Language(1967), Senoya, Senoya: Little Songs(1970), On the Way to Munui Village(1977), Going into Mountain Seclusion(1977), Early Morning Road(1978), Homeland Stars(1984), Pastoral Poems(1986), Fly High, Poems!(1986), The Person Who Should Leave(1986), Your Eyes(1988), My Evening(1988), The Grand March of That Day(1988), Morning Dew(1990), For Tears(1991), One Thousand Years’ Cry and Love: Lyrical Poems of Paektu Mountain(1990), Sea Diamond Mountain(1991), What?—Zen Poems(1991), Songs on the Street(1991), Song of Tomorrow(1992) The Road Not Yet Taken(1993), Songs for ChaRyong(1997), Dokdo Island(1995), Ten Thousand Lives, 20 Volumes(1986-1997), Paektu Mountain: An Epic, 7 Volumes(1987-94), A Memorial Stone (1997), Whispering(1998), Far, Far Journey(1999), South and North(2000), The Himalayas(2000), Flowers of a Moment(2001). Poems Left Behind (2002).
Cherry Tree in Other World(1961), Eclipse(1974), A Little Traveler(1974), Night Tavern: A Collection of Short Stories(1977), A Shattered Name (1977), The Wandering Souls: Hansan and Seupduk (1978), A Certain Boy: A Collection of Short Stories(1984), The Garland Sutra (Little Pilgrim)(1991), Their Field(1992) The Desert I Made(1992), Chongsun Arirang(1995), The Wandering Poet Kim, 3 volumes(1995), Zen: A Novel, 2 Volumes(1995), Sumi Mountain, 2 volumes(1999)
Collections of Essays
Born to be Sad(1967), Sunset on the G-String(1968), Things that Make Us Sad(1968), Where and What Shall We Meet Again?—A Message of Despair(1969), An Era is Passing(1971), 1950s(1973), For Disillusionment(1976), Intellectuals in Korea(1976), The Sunset on the Ghandis(1976), A Path Secular(1977), With History, With Sorrow(1977), For Love(1978), For Truth(1978), For the Poor(1978), Penance to the Horizon(1979), My Unnamable Spiritual(1979), Flowers from Suffering(1986), Flow, Water(1987), Ko Un’s Correspondence(1989), The Leaves Become Blue Mountain(1989), Wandering and Running at Full Speed(1989), History is Dreaming(1990), How I Wandered from Field to Field(1991), The Diamond Sutra I Experience(1993), Meditation in the Wilderness(1993), Truth-Seeker(1993), I Will Not Be Awakened(1993), At the Living Plaza(1997), Morning with Poetry(1999)
Old Temples: My Pilgrimage, My Country(1974), Cheju Island(1975), A Trip to India(1993), Mountains and Rivers, My Mountains and Rivers(1999),
Works of Literary Criticism
Literature and People(1986), Poetry and Reality(1986), Twilight and Avant-Garde(1990),
A Critical Biography of Yi Jooung-Sup(1973), A Critical Biography of the Poet Yi Sang(1973), A Critical Biography of Han Yong-Un(1975)
Son of Yellow Soil: My Childhood(1986), I, Ko Un, 3 Volumes (1993)
Selected Poems of the Tang Dynasty(1974), Selected Poems of Tufu(1974),
Chosa: Selected Poems by Kulwon(1975)
Several works of old Korean poetry and songs.
To say nothing of some Children’s Books
Korean Literature Prize(1974)
Korean Literature Prize(1987)
Manhae Prize in Literature(1989)
Joong-Ang Prize for Literature(1991)
Daesan Prize for Literature(1994)
Honorary resident of Jeong Seon County, KangWon Province (1997)
Manhae Grand Prize(1998)
Buddhist Literature Prize(1999)
The Republic of Korea’s Silver Order of Merit in Culture (2002)
Bjornson Order for Literature, the only Norwegian Order for Literary Merits(2005)
Swedish Literary Prize ‘the Cikada Prize” (2006)
Young-Rang Poetry Award(2007)
Yusim(Mind) Literature Prize(2008)
Lifetime Achievement Prize (Griffin Fund for Excellence in Poetry, Canada, 2008)
Korea Academy of Arts Award(2008)
Honorary doctoral degree from Dankook University (2010)
Winner of The America Awards for a Lifetime Contribution to International Writing (2011)
Honorary doctoral degree from Jonbuk University (2011)
Honorary resident of Jeju Special Autonomic Province (2011)
Membership of Honor Committee of World Poetry Academy (2011)
Honorary citizenship of Gwangju Metropolitan City (2012)
Honored to be a Human Evergreen Tree (2012)
Honorary Fellow from Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy (2013)
Некои искажувања за Ко Ун
Ko Un is one of the most important poets of our time.
– Robert Hass, former U.S. Poet Laureate
Not just holding his Zen insights and their miraculous workings tight to himself .. Ko Un outfoxes the old masters and the young poets both.
– Gary Snyder
Follow Sudhana, the little pilgrim, across the rivers, desert, mountains, and heavens of ancient India in this extraordinary tale of spiritual awakening. A remarkable odyssey filled with striking images and timeless characters, Little Pilgrim will capture your heart.
Ko Un is a magnificent poet, a combination of Buddhist cognoscente, passionate political libertarian, and naturalist historian.
– Allen Ginsberg
Ko Un’s poetry holds up a mirror to Korean soul.
In the world of poetry his reading is unique. There is no one who reads like this. Ko Un delivers his language with the intensity of one who was forbidden to learn his native Korean language as a child, but learned it anyway.
– Michael McClure
He has ten times victorious crossed the Acheron, if I may be allowed that modification of a famous line, allowing me to slip in here the name of Nerval.
– Michel Deguy