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Spilling out the sorrow of the divine punishment in poetry

Spilling out the sorrow of the divine punishment in poetry

Posted January. 04, 2018 08:51,   

Updated January. 04, 2018 09:39


“The offense in leper……/ What an egregious punishment it is.” (Punishment, 1973)

The book “Going over the Life of Han Ha-un and Literature: Leprosy and Left, A song of life that goes beyond the exclusion of doubleness” was recently published. The book provides an in-depth review over the life and literary world of Poet Han Ha-un (original name Han Tae-yeong, 1920-1975), who expressed the sorrow of a divine punishment called Hansen’s disease.

The book is comprised of research material related to the poet at the Bupyeong Historical Museum in Incheon City, where poet Han Ha-un resided from 1949 until the day he passed away. In his first work “I, Han Ha-un the Poet,” Han released 12 poems in a monthly magazine called “Sincheonji.” A monument in honor of the poet was established in Baekun Park in Incheon in December last year.

Han Ha-un, who was born in Hamju, South Hamgyong Province, founded Seonghyewon and Sinmyeong orphanage, and looked after patients with the same disease and continued his literary work.

Professor Jeong Woo-taek of Korean Language and Literature at Sungkyunkwan University, Chairman Choi Won-sik of the Writers Association of Korea, Professor Park Yeon-hui of the Studies in Korean Literature at Dongguk University and Professor Choi Ok-san of University of International Business and Economics in China participated in the newly published book.

The book made comments as follows: “Han Ha-un, who once had gone through hardships as he was seen as a leftist because of an expression‎ he used in his poem ‘Demo,’ which demonstrated the oppression leprosy patients felt. He was indeed the first poet of humble position in the world of poetry.”

Taek Kyoon Sohn sohn@donga.com