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Wind’s Bite Marks

Posted August. 03, 2007 06:20,   


“1,000 years does not pass but stay, as in old books, and as the sun filters through straw hats, when the brow lingers like water cheated, I was bitten by the wind’s millionth molar. Bent by the tail of 1,000 years and broken by the wings of 1,000 years” (An excerpt from The Wind’s Millionth Molar).

Shin Yong-mok (33) is a “wind believer” (from the poet Park Hyeong-joon). The tongue of a poet 1,000 years old sings of the wind leaving bite marks in space. In the new book of poetry The Wind’s The Wind’s Millionth Molar, published by Changbi Publishers, he illustrates the invisible wind.

Shin is known as a young poet who keenly captures mental pain and darkness in his words, yet keeps the tradition of lyric poetry. The tone of the poet is calm, yet there is a passion that creeps.

For instance, take the poem Red Pot: “A certain kind of waiting spreads//swells the dough of time, one day to live, goes back to being a black rock, carry the words and hunger, mother, which stick did you break to stir that pot.” The background of this poem is a fantasy place with floating and swirling trees, leaves, and rocks. In this visionary place the poet has dreamed up, he feels hunger. Of course, this hunger is what everyone else feels- the hunger of life. Many who read these lines will relate to this hunger. Time may swell like kneaded dough, but at one point it can go as black as a rock.

This hunger peeks out from other pieces, too. “The hunger wears the fog’s body, in the blossoming bowl there are noodles that are the white hairs of rain, and labor is in every chopstick” reads the poem Knead Noodles with a Red Face. “The fish that share in perfect symmetry like the mirror of greed/the size of hunger led them to the temptation of seaweed,” shows this hunger in the poem Heo Bong-su’s Adventures in Seoul.

How can one satisfy this hunger? This wind believer says nature can encompass this wind that passes through everything.

Like he writes, “The bamboo has grown, it is the bite marks of the wind/ the bird lands, it is the bite marks of the wind.”