Dr. Byoung K. Park, associate professor in the Arts and Humanities division, has translated “Soul Seeds: Revelations & Drawings” by Carolyn Mary Kleefeld from English to Korean. This is the first translated work by Park that has been published.
Park was approached at an American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) gathering in Oct. 2010 about translating Kleefeld’s work. He accepted the challenge and over the course of three years (one year of translating the work, one year of revising his translations, and one year of work put into the cover and binding of the book) “Soul Seeds” was complete. The book is now available to the public.
This book includes poetry and drawings from front to back. It is said to give spiritual guidance, inspiration, and insight to those who read the work.
Park kept the original English in Kleefelds version, while his translation lies side by side with the now Korean translation. Multiple poems within “Soul Seeds” can help the reader explore a deeper connection with himself or herself in a more spiritual way. The book contains 24 revelations and 14 pen and black ink drawings by Kleefeld.
His motivation for completing his translations is the hope that at least half of the book interests the reader. When asked if Park faced any challenges translating this work he simply stated, “Translation is not possible, that is why I have to do it, and with the expectation more readers are encouraged to become bilingual.” He added that Jaihiun J. Kim, a professor at Ajou University, who wrote one of the forewords of “Soul Seeds”, once told him, “Byoung , if you translate well, you’ll be a translator, Byoung, if you translate badly, and you’ll be a traitor.” These words are true to live by for any translator, as the slightest mistake could make or break a piece of literature.
Park, who wanted to make sure that the spotlight wasn’t only on him, wanted to give credit where credit is due. Without Kleefeld, Laura A. Huxley, another foreword author, Jaihiun J. Kim and co-publishers Korean Expatriate Literature and Cross-Cultural Communications none of this would be possible. If looking to purchase “Soul Seeds: Revelations & Drawings” it is highly recommended purchasing it off of Amazon. The price varies depending on if purchased new or used, but a new version runs around $10.76.
Park obtained his B.A. and M.A. in English from Ajou University in Korea, he then continued his education by getting a Ph.D. in English from Western Michigan University. He now teaches American Literature, Asian Literature, and Introduction to Poetry at Lorain County Community College.
At this time Park is currently working on revising his dissertation, “The Biographical and Poetic Dimensions in Gary Snyder’s Green-Buddhism Poetry”, which is to be published by the Cross-Cultural Communications.