Ed Bok Lee: “Maybe all poetry is a dialogue with the impossible”

Interview excerpts from The Margins:

Maybe all poetry is a dialogue with the impossible.

***

…Maybe because I write poetry, and believe language can so deeply shape and nuance a speaker’s reality and imagination, the increasing extinction of languages feels so tragic. How do you translate duende into English? Or han (a Korean word for something like deeply regretful, resentful, passive, yet not hopeless sorrow)? And every language and culture has a multitude of words and concepts that are untranslatable into another language. Where does that wisdom, that nuance and beauty, that oral and spiritual technology go when an eons-old culture’s language evaporates? It feels like dreams disappearing. Words are magic-making animators. But we are born into language, not the other way around.

Read the full here.

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