Serenade of Excellence
What you doing?Sharpening a knife.Is something up?I said I'm sharpening a knife.Did I do something?No. I'm just sharpening a knife.Exactly, you're sharpening a knife.I'm not allowed to use my whetstone?I didn't know you had a whetstone.I bought a whetstone, a hoe, a sickle, and a dog leash. What you gonna do about it?I won't ask. You sharpen your knives.It's not working. Can you buy me more?Whether born with it or not, she found her hidden talent.She sharpened her knivesand became a bitch.One persona pity partypumped upand pop!Let's not do this.
English Copyright © 2021 by Soeun Seo and Jake Levine.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Kim Min Jeong was born in 1976, in Incheon. She majored in creative writing at Choongang University for both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She made her debut with Munyae Choongang’s New Writers Award in 1999. She has published the poetry collections Flying Porcupine Lady, For the First Time, That Woman Feeling, Beautiful and Useless, and the prose collection Anyways. She is the recipient of the Park In Hwan Literary Award and Contemporary Poetry Award and is the poetry editor for Korea’s largest publishing house, Munhak Dongne.
Soeun Seo (she/they) is a poet and translator from South Korea and a recent graduate of the Michener Center for Writers. Their poems and translations have appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Korean Literature Now, Guernica, Black Warrior Review, etc. They co-translated Hysteria by Kim Yideum, which won the Lucien Stryk Award and the National Translation Award. Their latest translation, Beautiful and Useless by Kim Min Jeong, co-translated with Jake Levine, was published with Black Ocean.
Jake Levine is an assistant professor of Creative Writing at Keimyung University. He has authored, co-authored, translated, or co-translated over a dozen books. He serves as the series editor for the Moon Country Korean Poetry Series at Black Ocean.
Black Warrior Review is named for the river that borders the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Established in 1974 by graduate students in the MFA Program in Creative Writing, BWR is the oldest continuously-run literary journal produced by graduate students in the United States.
BWR publishes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, comics, and art twice a year. Contributors include Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winners alongside emerging writers. Work appearing in BWR has been reprinted in the Pushcart Prize series, Best American Short Stories, Best American Poetry, PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize, New Stories from the South, and other anthologies.
Black Warrior Review is indexed in Humanities International Complete, the Book Reviews Index, and the MLA International Bibliography. ISSN: 0193-6301