“From sweet wrappers to noodle packets, Professor
Kang Dong-wan collects litter that floats to South
Korea from the repressive North . . .
The professor has turned the fruits of his foraging
into a book, Picking Up North Korean Garbage in
the Five West Sea Islands.” — The Guardian
From the repressive North there floats
A kind of tawdry glitter:
Prof Kang Dong-wan acutely gloats:
It’s North Korean litter!
He’d surely dance a Highland Fling
If he were from the Highlands:
What thrills him more than anything
Is Picking Up North Korean Garbage in the Five West Sea Islands.
For glamour, garbage may not touch
The tomb of Tutankhamun,
But Prof Dong-wan has learned so much
From shreds of bags of ramen;
The Hermit Kingdom’s trashy ways
Turn neighbours into spy-lands,
And scholars join with snoops in praise
Of Picking Up North Korean Garbage in the Five West Sea Islands.