“How are you doing in such a scorching hot weather?” It is how you start a KakaoTalk conversation. “I wish you to stay well in such a hot summer season.” Ending remarks just like this phrase wrap up your email. I may keep complaining that it is too hot at least until “malbok,” the hottest time of the year, comes.
You have every reason to read Park Hyoung-joon’s poetry just because the baking sun is up in the skies. His summer days look dazzling but yours doesn’t. No friends, no travel and no hangouts. You feel a hole in your heart. Unlike how you are doing, thepoet enjoys a highly rich summer filled with God’s blessings. If you still feel frustrated even when you are relaxed in an air-conditioned room, this poem brings freshness and rewards back to you.
The mother’s summer days on farmland had been way hotter than ours. She must have been exhausted under the burning sun. It is right in the middle of the night blanketed with moonlights when she finishes her chores. When everyone else is in bed, she wraps up her day by cooling her back down with cold water. Deungmok may be the easiest way to keep your body cool but you cannot do it yourself. You need someone else to pour a bowl of water onto your back and give it a rub. Deungmok requires you to let someone else take care of your naked back with yourself left off guard. It is an intimate and sweet interaction between one in a pushup-like position and the other pouring water onto the former’s back. Reading this poetry makes me imagine a mother and her son sharing cheerful and sweet words – “It must have been a hard day. Thank you, mom,” and “Not at all, my boy. I am doing great.” It gives us the power to weather this awfully burning summer.