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Situated on the border of her home country and host country, the Korean American girl wants to assimilate into mainstream American society by discarding her differences.

Finally, she comes to understand that beauty lies in her Korean identity or in the combination of the two cultures that she inherited.

Indeed, it would be nice if Korean American teenagers, too, could have the confidence and open-mindedness Edward Said had.

The above sijo poems provide a profound insight into how to be “joined in isolation” in these difficult times.

Kim Seong-konKim Seong-kon is a professor emeritus of English at Seoul National University and a visiting scholar at Dartmouth College.

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