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Kim Nam-jo publishes ‘the last poetry book’ at the age of 93

Kim Nam-jo publishes ‘the last poetry book’ at the age of 93

Posted March. 04, 2020 07:30,   

Updated March. 04, 2020 07:30


It all comes to people and love in the end. Kim Nam-jo whose first poems were published more than 70 years ago has come out with a new poetry book at the age of 93. This will be her last book, and love permeates every line of the poet’s 19th book of poetry. Fifty-two poems in the book is dedicated to love and happiness she has felt throughout her life.

I said no love

no confession of love

But time has passed

And now I say yes love

yes to confession of love no matter how many times

(From “Yes, love”)

This is her song about love found in the book, which she describes as “songs at sunset.”

“We deeply love each other,” says Kim. “We learn that we all are lonely the hard way, and that is how we learn to accept human existence is “beautiful” and to love.”

Another major theme that runs through the book is warmth in daily lives. Everyday sunshine makes our lives abundant and trees teach us great lessons.

What is poetry for Kim? “Poetry is fiercely jealous and would not let me in if I leave it for a while,” said the poet. “Poems have never let me win but it is a true honor and pleasure to have lived with them.”

Seong-Taek Jeong neone@donga.com