S-Space College of Humanities (인문대학) English Language and Literature (영어영문학과) 영학논집(English Studies) 영학논집(English Studies) No.02 (1977)
The Poetry of Yun Dong-Ju
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 인문대학 영어영문학과
- 영학논집 2(1977): 57-72
- Only a small number of Yun Dong-ju's poems deserve serious attention as poetry. The rest carry little more than biographical interest. Yet his name will survive on those few poetic compositions indeupendently of his personal charm or the poignant circumstances attending his martyrdom, impossible though it may be for these things to help forming a lasting halo surrounding his literary remains. Dong-ju's poems are not models of perfected skill. Nor does a single pronouncement of any resounding conviction deck their lines. In fact many a reader has been disappointed to find in his writings so little trace of active defiance to the Japanese authorities. A brilliant posture of a standard bearer has little to do with Dong-ju. What makes up the greater part of his choicer works is muffled, and often even confused, soliloquies of an extreme introvert. Yet these writings embody the inner life of an ordinary young Korean intellectual clinging to decency in the heyday of the Japanese militaristic totalitarianism as no other writer's do. And at the same time they are a distinct new voice of strange beauty in the three decade old Korean modern poetry. The present little study is intended as an effort to elucidate, rather than criticize, some aspects of Dong-ju's poetry for readers to whom English is more inviting or at least less formidable than Korean.