About the Poems
by Ruth Williams
These poems are a result of the time I spent living and working as an English teacher in South Korea. Unexpectedly, it seems I fell for the place. For the amazingly good food. For the kids who shout "HI," then giggle uncontrollably. For the observance of bowing. For my students petting my hair. For singing badly at the noraebang. For the Han River seen from a taxi at 5 a.m. For the informative displacements of vacation. For the fantastic perversions of English on a foreign tongue. For the way words become merely shapes and sounds. For communicating solely by gesture. For being exotic. For even now exoticizing it. For language moving between the mouths of two people who do not speak the same language. These poems are my attempt to interrogate this strange location.