Bio

Dr. Chae-Pyong (“J.P.”) Song received his M.A. and Ph.D. in English from Texas A&M University. He received his B.A. in English Language and Literature at Chonnam National University in Korea. Since he came to Marygrove College in 2001, he has taught a variety of courses such as Literary Theory, World Literature, Contemporary Literature of Africa, Post-colonial Re-imaginations: Empire Writes Back, Human Rights and Literature, Globalization in Context, The Novel, Introduction to Literature, Travel Seminar, and Academic Writing. In addition to publications on postcolonial literature and theory, his recent translations of Korean literature have appeared on The Korea Times, New Writing from Korea, Metamorphoses: Journal of Literary Translation, WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly, Illuminations, and Azalea: Journal of Korean Literature and Culture. Recently, along with Anne Rashid, he won the 40th Korean Literature Translation Awards for translating Kim Hye-soon’s poems.

After a long battle with cancer, JP passed away on Feb. 12, 2013.  He wished to have this blog available after his passing.  His wife, Jina and his daughter, Iris maintain this blog now, and it is their hope that JP’s tranlation work continues to inspire the readers.

 

45 thoughts on “Bio

  1. Professor Song, thank you so much for your great works. I found this website while I was looking for translated versions of Chung Ho-seung’s poems, and I love it! I will recommend your page to my friends who love poetry.🙂

  2. Thanks for introducing beautiful poem.
    I came to America 1978. Missed nice poem like this.
    When I was in middle school and high school, I used to go to same church with this poet.
    Say Hello to him. I just realized him. Happy new year! God bless you.
    You can find me in face book too.

  3. Thank you for this blog. It is greatly appreciated. I’m interested in poetry from both North & South Korea.

      • I certainly will as I’ve recently discovered the writings of Jang Jin-sung & Kim Hyesoon & am quite intrigued, especially considering how many young people are into so-called K-Pop And Kim Jung-un’s apparent interest in certain aspects of American pop culture. Personally I’ve been fascinated by Korean culture since discovering the ancient religion of Dan Gun many years ago.

  4. AFE by Johnny Noir

    In Pyongyang we kick dead whores when they’re facedown in the gutter
    After the rain and the parade when the girls wring out their burlap panties
    When TS Eliot dated twins
    Walking them home along lonely London streets
    Where Gotlieb got his start as a painter
    And Neuroscience was born—
    I think your gods are silent now,
    The Chieftain of Atlantis, a girl with a crooked smile,
    The girl who sold her soul in San Francisco,
    Turning the heads of Chicano mothers—
    Her street ends in the sad traffic of stardom,
    Who wants to buy her bones—
    Prick a whore and she’ll pop like a balloon—
    Despite what your father tells you don’t look at the camera
    you might see your mother scream and feel the earth tremble like a flower—
    As she shits a creamy brown loaf
    And dreams of the time she got lost in the woods,
    And she pushed her soul through the keyhole
    Of the dollhouse’s door—
    In the dark cube of night she farts in Adam’s face
    And brings him to life then pees on his keys
    And he slaps her face
    Her ass is made of soft clay hardened by the sun—
    Tear her thong off and rape her in the dirt like the ancient Hebrews did—
    Blind with lust for Jesus the lesbian turned straight
    And showed her tits to everyone until Judgment Day—
    The blonde with cum on her face stumbling towards the bar
    Catching the eye of the brunette sitting at the end—
    Time went by faster on the speakeasy floor
    Where she threw up skinny crosses,
    Her essence dripping down her nostalgic face—
    Her girlfriend is happy and her grandmother too,
    It’s been so long since her father saw her stoned—
    The midnight queen cut herself again last night on her razor sharp titties—
    Abstract fucking Expressionism is going to get me laid,
    Her little brown face is going to open like a cage—
    Her throat is going to sing like a canary in a cavern,
    Like a drunken, crazy hag
    I’ll recite poetry while I stick my knife in her jam—
    Emily cried herself to sleep with tears of joy as she came,
    The stars overhead in the sky as she jammed four fingers into her third eye—
    The photos are online with her real address,
    I never wanted to love her but couldn’t resist,
    She fell to her knees and collapsed onto her chest—
    Ten naked teenage girls and Bettie Page French kiss in the moonlight on the balcony
    Overlooking the limestone quarry where no one wants to see a fat bitch naked—

    • Behind The Veil Of The Abstract Lies The Soul Of A Poet by Johnny Noir

      She’s the kind of girl that likes to be knocked out on Everclear
      And raped while she sleeps it off—
      It’s okay to rape her because she likes it, insists on it,
      And won’t have sex any other way—
      No man can resist a woman in a noose,
      A crying blonde or a friend’s mother—
      I had no pleasure in life until I began to see woman
      As old as my mother being used as raw fuck-meat and loving it,
      The prophet of the sun raping the fairy in ripped pantyhose—
      Her mouth was full of lies but her tongue tasted good,
      The dark haired succubus met the poet
      And took him by the hand,
      He never used the word love,
      Her skin as cold and pale as the moon—
      She let him gag and hogtie her in the woods
      And do with her as he pleased,
      She couldn’t scream and demons cheered
      It seemed like they were there for years—
      He woke up from the dream his mother beside him in tears
      That’s the night he swore off sake
      And from then on would stick to wine and beer—
      But now he knew what lay behind the veil
      And what lie beyond the clouds
      And he hadn’t even wanted to know—
      The knowledge burned into his skull,
      His brain tattooed with her ugly face that he could never escape
      Knowing he’d fucked her in the mouth and put her in her place—
      Now whenever she kissed him goodnight it always went too far
      She’d stick her tongue in his mouth
      And her tendrils would appear—
      He’d cry out for Archimedes and the illusions would disappear
      Leaving him alone in his mother’s arms
      Straining to reach for his pen,
      Her small boned figure wrapped around him,
      A smile on her corpse-like face—
      He’d write what she thought was a suicide note
      Or a confession to the police,
      But it wasn’t and then he’d leave her to go find a drink—
      Behind the veil of the abstract lies the poet’s soul
      And when he was drunk enough he’d come back and suck her toes
      While the rain fell on the leaves outside the open window—
      While she laughed through the tears
      Until he handed her the glass of Everclear—
      And the moon lit up the forest night like a dream out of both Rousseaus

      • Welcome To North Korea by Johnny Noir

        Welcome to North Korea where the cartoons rule—
        Where we have no Great Leader, just a cadre of fools
        That want war with anybody looking—

        Welcome to psychedelic heaven
        Where the masturbation never ends—
        Where Buddha sleeps with Las Vegas call girls
        In mid-December—

        Where children go to starve, where GG Allin’s never been,
        Where all the children in the world
        Wriggle their cottony tails for pedophiles—

        You’ve been there too—
        Welcome to the land of Real Love
        Where everyone knows that Jesus was Japanese,
        Yukio Mishima told me so—

        He also told me the best way to masturbate was while drinking out of a toilet—
        It’s all the rage in North Korea where the cartoons tell us what to do
        Because we’re hypnotized by their giant blue eyes—

        Where no one thinks it’s a good idea to kick a Japanese whore in the cunt—
        I don’t know where you could have gotten the idea that it was—

        Welcome to North Korea
        Where women age slowly but not at all gracefully—
        Where we let our women starve—
        Where we eat junk food with a knife—
        Thank you, mother, it was Heaven,
        But I repeat myself—
        Where girls are the best things ever even when they’re ugly—

        I want to move to Taiwan where I can get laid every night
        And I swear if a girl comes up to me
        Dressed in one of those creepy Lolita costumes,
        I’ll find it hard to overcome the psychotic impulse
        To knock her down and rip those goddamned petticoats
        Away from her musty thighs in pink thigh-highs
        And force her legs apart to tear her pussy out with my teeth—
        That’s what I think of those bitches,
        As cute as they are,
        Of course they love it,
        Submissive whores pretending to be children,
        Wanting to be treated like cartoons
        They must smell like an overused sauna
        In a Jewish Retirement Home underneath all that antiquated shit—

        Are they wearing thongs or bloomers?
        I really want to know—

        Welcome to North Korea

        Rumor has it that Doris Day had the greatest ass in Hollywood—
        What it looks like now I haven’t heard,
        But it can’t look all that bad to be compared to Venus in its day—
        Marilyn Monroe had a great ass too,
        But she got fat and lived too long—
        Doris day is still alive by the way—
        No one on earth has a greater ass than Doris Day,
        Old and wrinkled like Brigitte Bardot
        Trying to seduce me on the Riviera—
        There once was a girl named Cinderella
        Who had an ass like an ironing board—
        She didn’t stand out in a crowd—
        Doris Day, now there was an ass
        Glimpsed like a blue moon in Technicolor pictures
        From before you were born—
        But no one ever seduced Doris Day; she never got laid—
        “I knew Doris day before she was virgin,”
        Goes the Biblical story, but there it is—
        Playing in a stag film New York City,
        Shot in the Village apartment of TS Eliot
        With a gang bang featuring Dylan Thomas and William S. Burroughs
        Doing strange things to her on the couch—
        Where her pillbox hat never fell off her beehive, her black petticoats
        Like the sails of a pirate schooner in a nor’easter
        Where she bent over and sucked cock in high heels,
        Like your mother used to wear if you were lucky,
        In my dream Sylvia Plath was be there too—
        I wrote a play once—
        What Doris Day had was deep cleavage,
        A great profile and a camel toe as tight as an oyster—
        She had great feet that didn’t smell,
        Unless she wore flats and danced all day—
        She was always willing to have her ass slapped,
        Her ass cheeks as tight as drums—
        There’s an old woman librarian,
        She’s has to be over seventy,
        I can see her everyday if I make an excuse to go to the library—
        I’d take that bitch between the shelves and write her life story from birth to the grave—
        I would eat her dusty pussy and make it wet as an ocean—
        She wears stockings and garters older than my mother—
        If she let her hair down she’d be as blonde as Doris Day—
        Doris Day is eighty-eight as of 2010
        And as of 2009 she was still ranked as the top female box office star of all time—

        I’m trying to write an epic; a meta-epic—
        Someday there will be marching feet
        On the avenue I’m taking you to, 42nd Street—
        Soon the gift of love will be yours—
        Meaning some old woman will suck your dick—
        Art is not the hard part but where do you go with it—
        Where do you take it to be appraised honestly—?
        So what if you’re Rembrandt or Picasso—
        People don’t give a shit about art—
        Most people anyway, and they will tell you your work is shit—
        Look at those feet! Those beautiful feet deformed by narrow patent leather stilettos—
        Look at that ass, that well-rounded ass
        Wriggling like a basket of snakes in that Lycra skirt
        In North Korea S&M porn is everywhere—

        Where teenage girls suck cock in basements—
        Where the great leader makes the announcement
        That his son will soon be the new great leader of the frozen state—
        That’s when you know prostitutes will be let loose
        To run wild in the street—
        That’s when math scores will drop below those of American redneck teenagers—
        That’s when girls will come home pregnant, or not—
        Depending on the brand of condoms
        They leave used in the gutter—
        That’s when Japanese Girl Scouts will come to my house
        Selling their hairy fortune cookies—
        I’ll take a dozen boxes and write them a bad check—

        Welcome to North Korea, home of Doris Day’s ass,
        Bettie Page’s tits and Marilyn Monroe’s pussy—

        If it was good enough for my father it’s good enough for me!

        Where we all like the girls who like to sniff men’s dirty drawers—
        Everyone loves a girl that likes to lick men’s balls
        And nothing smells like shit like a North Korean whore—

        She’s got a tongue like a magnet
        Homosexuality does not exist in North Korea
        Where the cartoons rule the roost
        May as well give it back to the Chinese—
        Where children drink sperm like little birds—
        And we repeat ourselves like cock and endless balls—
        Where little girls gasp in indecision and then do it anyway—
        This is a whore’s town,
        Whore’s run the whole damned place—
        You’re lucky if you’re damned and damned if you’re lucky—
        Like the guy that hit the lottery twice,
        When was the last time he hit his wife?

  5. Thanks for this blog. i try to learn Korean language by myself. And I wanted to know about Korean literature after searching i found this blog. I became very happy. i know nothing about Korean literature but I am interested in Korean history too. so I only know about scholars who were famous in history. thanks for writing about korean poetry also both in Korean and English

  6. Towards a Theory of Postmodern Decadence by Johnny Noir

    Born of the Romantic Movement and leading into Symbolism the movement of “decadence” has many historical earmarks; often associated with the philosophies of Nietzsche and Schopenhauer, it reaches back to Plato and Sade for its formative worldview. “Art for Art’s Sake” was the rallying cry for the poet Baudelaire et al, as well as Oscar Wilde. In this light, and given its reliance on pessimism and nightmare, debauchery and addiction, it is easy to diagnose the Decadent Movement as a trend towards mental illness in the arts though this would be incorrect. Let’s say beginning with Poe and ending with Kafka, culminating in Hitler’s Third Reich and Dadaism we do see a trend towards reified intellect and a longing for the seemingly impossible.

    In this way we can view whole of the Cold War with its nuclear arms race and surreal backward looking ideologies as the reaction to the fact that artists in general had moved on past the mere social niceties of proper Victorian society. Freud had led the way, influenced albeit by Nietzsche, Baudelaire, Sade and the Old Testament of the Bible. Mind became matter, thought became action and as a result we also had the common acceptance of the pseudo-scientific ideas of Darwinian Evolution and Marxism.
    Taking all this into account one would have to say that the Decedent Movement simultaneously rejected progress and spawned modern art, it’s post-Dadaist heirs being both the Pop Art Movement and the Beats. But where have we gone from there?

    Assimilating Punk Rock and pornography and deconstructing both into a ubiquitous Internet Goth subculture has resulted in some interesting manifestations that have yet to be fully digested by the culture at large. The mainstream media is willing to pay only slight lip service to Goth culture and music, demonizing or trivializing it into a childish preoccupation with medieval superstition; “Buffy The Vampire Slayer”, Harry Potter, “Lord of the Rings”, and at worst lingering suspicion of Satanic practices. The Internet is likewise demonized as a powerful tool with which to seduce and corrupt young minds.

    Unexamined is the irony that while vampires and horror in general is celebrated and sold as a commercial commodity it is equally vilified. There must be an unconscious survival instinct at work since these are things that essentially embrace death and humanity seems to have this innate need to defy its own mortality by confronting such things as will end it. Drugs and disease do these things naturally and have played a role in decadent manifestations of the past, Heroin and AIDS having joined Syphilis and Tuberculosis in the decadent pantheon of malignant acts of God.

    On a lighter note poets and fashion models undoubtedly have more to do with any healthy sense of decadence we may have. Models have always come under scrutiny and censure by the mainstream, again, while also being touted as role models and ideals, their body types vilified and criticized along with their lifestyles. Decried as too skinny, unhealthy or dissolute and drug-addled, these women and girls are pushed into the public eye as celebrities or damned as anonymous and nearly faceless by the sheer number of them, the hypocrisy of this contradiction not registering with anyone.

    Strangely, it had always been poets and by extension painters, musicians and writers who were often remarked upon as being too skinny, fallow complexioned, drug-addled whoremongers and of course nearly if not actual vampiric Satan worshippers. Of course the reverse could be true: a successful artist, even frustrated in his/her true genius by an ignorant but adoring/spiteful, bitter public could pork up to over 300lb., the fat, complacent genius likewise a decadent archetype. This is in much the same vein as the “aging beauty”, the Norma Desmond type who refuses to grow old, lives in the past and will try any and all means to stay youthful and vital. I say Norma Desmond, but many will also recognize in this figure the notorious Countess and real life vampire Elizabeth Bathory, who is accepted without question as a quintessential Goth culture prototype.

    But this brings us back to the Romantics, i.e., Shelley, Byron, Mary Shelley, Blake et al.
    Brings us back in fact to the Middle Ages, if not the longing for them as expressed by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, The Nazarene and others who looked past the Renaissance for their artistic ideals, to Milton, Shakespeare, Marlowe, and further back still to Plato and Aristotle, and further still, stopping along the way in the pages of the Bible to contemplate the femme fatales Salome’, Jezebel, Delilah, Bathsheba and Eve herself, to consider the commingled beauty, terror and mystery of Astarte, Isis, and Aphrodite.

    Beauty itself was born in those ancient days along with the legendary mighty men of old and did not exist before then. Before beauty there was only the weather and the earth. Now beauty is everywhere and the primal weather patterns are reasserting themselves the world over. Perhaps we should take that into consideration and discard the notion of beauty altogether. It has served its purpose; it has gotten us this far and nearly brought us to the brink of destruction. Let us annihilate beauty before it uses its seductive and demonic charms to annihilate us.

  7. 펜팔친구에게 한국시를 소개해줄려고 번역본을 찾다가 우연히 이 블로그에 들어오게 되었습니다.제가 기존에 알고 있던 좋은 시들과 이 블로그에서 알게된 좋은 시들을 번역해놓으셔서 외국친구에게도 이 감성들을 전달할수있게되어 정말 기뻤고 그만큼 또 감사드립니다.전 고등학생인데 학교에서 배울땐 이 시로 문제를 풀어야한다는 생각때문에 보고 느끼지 못했던 것들을 집에와서 이 블로그를 통해서 느끼게되네요…앞으로도 자주 들어와 올려주신 소중한 번역글을 일게될것 같습니다.아! 실례가 안된다면 나태주 시인의 ‘풀꽃’ 이란 시를 번역해 주실수 있나요? 최근에 가장 감명깊게 읽은 시인데 이건 아직 안 올리셨더라구요…아무튼 올려주신 소중한 시들 잘 보고 갑니다:)

    • 고마운 마음, 잘 읽었습니다. 감사합니다. 나태주 시인의 “풀꽃”도 찾아보겠습니다. 영어권 친구들에게 저의 번역사이트를 소개해주시면 고맙겠습니다.

  8. Hi Chae-Pyong Song,

    I am the world literature editor for a new book discovery community called Riffle. At Riffle, we’re hoping to help readers discover new books, and I’m really interested in getting more people interested in books-in-translation. I would love to invite you into our online community. If you shoot me an email at worldliteditor [at] gmail [dot] com, I can send along more info! You can also check out a little bit of Riffle here: https://read.rifflebooks.com/list/share/25825

    Best wishes,
    Gina

  9. 교수님, 좋은 곳에서 평온히 잠드셨길 기도합니다.
    선생님은 떠나셨지만,
    선생님께서 영역해주신 아름다운 한국의 시는
    늘 저희와 함께 할것입니다.
    자유와 정의에 대한 선생님의 열정과
    한국 시에 대한 선생님의 사랑,
    잊지 않겠습니다.
    선생님, 부디 평안하세요.

  10. 선생님께서 영역한 시는 광주영어방송 http://www.gfn.or.kr
    Hello, Korea 라는 프로그램에서 ‘The Poems of Korea’라는 제목으로
    2011년부터 매일 소개되고 있습니다.
    2월 27일 오전 10시에는 선생님의 추모 방송을 계획하고 있습니다.

  11. Thank you Chae-Pyong Song for sharing these beautiful poems. I recently began learning Korean and am so glad to have discovered your blog. I would like to learn the language through literature. The translations are very helpful. Even though it is a very slow process, as I learn by translating each word with a dictionary before referring to the English version provided, it is the best experience I have had in learning Korean on my own. It is difficult not knowing where else to find such poems with translations… which makes your blog a true gem.

  12. I’m sorry for your loss. The translations he posted are truly beautiful. It’s unfortunate that I didn’t find out about his work sooner because I would’ve loved to have gotten in contact with him.

  13. I’ve been following the posts here for some time, I only today learned of the passing of Dr. Song. I’m sorry to hear that and I wish his family all the best. Thank you for maintaining this site.

  14. 백석시인의 나와 나타샤와 흰 당나귀를 영어로 번역하려던 중 이 사이트를 알게 되었어요.

    저는 한국에서 영어(정확히 말하면 언어학을 영어로 배우고 있어요)를 전공하고 있는 학생이에요.
    아름다운 한국시를 영어로 번역해서 전 세계 사람들이 널리 읽고 공감했으면 좋겠다는 생각을 늘 품고 있었어요. 미리 번역해주셔서 감사합니다.

    송채평 선생님께 감사의 마음을 전하며 동시에 명복을 빕니다.

  15. 안녕하세요🙂 한국에 대해 알리고자, 서울에서의 일상에 대한 개인 블로그를 시작한 대학생입니다.
    제가 우리 문학, 전통에 관심이 많은데, 더 많은 외국인들에게 알리고 싶어, 페이스북 페이지를 곧 만들려고 합니다. 제가 좋아하는 한국 문학, 특히 시를 올리려고 하는데, 이 블로그에 있는 멋진 번역들을 참고해도 될지 문의드립니다.
    실제로 뵌적은 없지만, 훌륭한 번역을 해주신 송채평 교수님께 감사드리며, 좋은 블로그를 계속 유지해주신 가족분들에게도 감사의 말씀을 전하고 싶습니다. 감사합니다.

    • 안녕하세요. 송재평교수의 블로그에 관심 감사드립니다.
      페이스북 페이지를 통해 공유하실 때, 송교수 블로그 링크를 함께 해주시면 감사하겠읍니다.
      고인한테는 특별한 작업이었고, 애정이 많았던 블로그가 많은 사람들한테 알려지기를 원했거든요.
      감사합니다.

      Jina

      • 헉..정말 죄송합니다. 이제야 댓글을 보았네요…그동안 너무나 블로그를 안해서요..네! 올릴 때 꼭 알려드리겠습니다. 정말 감사합니다!! 새해 복 많이 받으세요!

  16. 안녕하세요, 프랑스에서 활동하고 있는 한인 음악인 입니다. 서정주시인의 시를 인터넷에서 찾다가 이 블로그를 발견하게 되었습니다, 새 앨범 작업중에 “내리는 눈발속에서는” 시의 영어 통역 버젼을 읽고 영감을 받아서 몇줄을 따서 작곡을 해서 녹음을 했습니다. 지금 작업이 거의 끝난 상태이고 앨범을 인터넷에 배포를 하게 될텐데, 저작권에 대해서 궁금합니다. yuriehu@yahoo.fr 일단 녹음한 곡을 들려드리고 싶군요..

    감사합니다!

    허우리 드림

  17. 안녕하세요, 저는 훼이스북에 beautiful poem이라는 그룹활동을 하고있습니다. 영어실력이 딸려서 좋은 한국시들을 소개못했었는데 이 블로그를 만나게 되어 기쁩니다. 원래 블로그를 만드신 분에 대한 소식에 가슴이 좀 아팠지만 그분의 정신이 아직 살아계시는 것 같아 그점에 기쁘네요.
    감사합니다.

    • 안녕하세요. 송재평교수의 블로그에 관심 감사드립니다.
      페이스북 페이지를 통해 공유하실 때, 송교수 블로그 링크를 함께 해주시면 감사하겠읍니다.
      고인한테는 특별한 작업이었고, 애정이 많았던 블로그가 많은 사람들한테 알려지기를 원했거든요.
      감사합니다.

      Jina

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