In love poems, loneliness is not a good thing. Loneliness cannot be a good thing because it takes two to love. A lonely lover is a lover facing a breakup. Lonely love is a sad love.
However, it is a different story outside love poems. Poems and loneliness have long been a perfect match. According to theorist Steiger, lyric poetry usually deals with the domain of loneliness. A time, where you sit alone quietly and think about life and the world, is definitely a “poetic time.” If you have five minutes of this, you can recharge yourself. People cannot live on physical energy alone.
The time you have by yourself after dropping kids off to school, sit half asleep all by yourself early in your office, and take a break from work and bask in the sunlight outside. In these times, you feel like you are the only one left in the world. People call it lonely.
This poem by Lee Kyeong-lim was created in such times. Only the poet knows whether the footprint left behind is sound or shape. But we all once had one of those moments: The moment, where you space out in loneliness and suddenly realize something. Loneliness seems empty but actually it is not. It certainly seems meaningless, but it is a time that satisfies your heart.