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Empty yard

Posted April. 17, 2021 07:23,   

Updated April. 17, 2021 07:23


Philosopher Zygmunt Bauman describes modern humans to be “living in one’s own protective shell.” Emptiness is a characteristic of modern humans. The Internet world as well as social media has widened, but as soon as people are disconnected from either, emptiness floods in. People log in again because of emptiness, and yet the more time spent on the Internet the greater the feeling of void. It is similar to drinking salt water, which intensifies thirst even more.

Solitude is a little different from emptiness. Solitude refers to the state of enjoying the bittersweetness of being alone. You may feel empty, but it is not like you cannot stand it because of that feeling. Solitude sees the empty state in a positive light. Only empty things can be filled. Once facing emptiness through solitude, the empty space can be filled with yourself or meanings.

“Empty Yard” is a poem of solitude. Lee Tan started his literary career by winning the Dong-A Ilbo’s literary contest in 1964. He well caught the mood of futility and solitude. Let’s take a look at his poem. The yard was completely empty as once blossoming flowers wilted. As things visually disappear, they do so in mind. If such emptiness feels too painful to face, the empty yard symbolizes futility. However, the poet reflects on it and turns futility into solitude. The yard seemed empty with wilted flowers, when it was not empty after all. It was filled with sunshine.

Some days are spent in misery for doing nothing and with regretful memories of achieving nothing. However, even without any achievement, the past time does not hold meaninglessness. The Sun shines on even failed days and lost days. There is still sunshine. The empty yard is not completely empty.