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Pains of a star

Posted January. 26, 2019 07:35,   

Updated January. 26, 2019 07:35


The poem was written by one of the fallen geniuses. He brightened up the 1920s when poets were a rare thing to be seen in Korea, by creating a magazine titled "Pyeheo" (meaning: ruins) with other artists. As the title implies, the magazine covers somewhat vain and decadent pieces. However, he differentiated himself from the other founders by pursuing romanticism and warmth.

The poet admired literature and people of his time aspired him to contribute as long as possible. However, regrettably, he died young only with around 20 pieces of poems. The greatest mourner of his death was novelist Yeom Sang-sub, one of Namgung’s friends. Upon his death in 1921, Yeom expressed his condolences in a writing and expressed his tribute to his dead friend by making records on him. It was known that Namgung would spend much time with other writers even though he did not enjoy drinks. He talked less but smiled more. He was known to be a neat and tidy gentleman.

Reading his poems reminds readers of his neatness. The poems have the power to appeal to readers even though it was written a long time ago. Where would that power come from? It originates from the human soul that expands to the universe combined with imagination. Namgung says through his poems that we are not animals but every being is supposed to live together.

Yeom Sang-sub said that Namgung was a poor man and even when he was dead, his life was dried up and lonesome. However, his poems do not come across as poor and lonely. It is wished that the poet stays warm surrounded by readers who enjoy his incredible poems.

Mu-Kyung Shin fighter@donga.com