Back to Heaven: Selected Poems of Ch'on Sang Pyong (Cornell East Asia Series #78) (Hardcover)
These poems by "the happiest man in the world" are full of light though written in dark times. Ch'ōn had the art of seeing the beauty of life beyond all the pain, and of putting it into the music of words. Recently, many young Koreans have discovered in these poems and in the poet's life the innocence and honesty they look for in vain in modern society. His poverty and his body broken by torture never made Ch'ōn bitter or angry; his poems are hymns of joy at the marvels of nature and the simple pleasures of life. His greatest poem sees death, not as the end but as a journey "back to heaven" where he plans to tell the angels how beautiful life in this world can be.