“Citizens should love reading poetry to create something out of nothing,” said Chairman Jeong Cheol-won of Hyupsung General Construction Corp. in an interview with The Dong-A Ilbo on Thursday. Based on his belief, he sponsors the Youngrang Literary Award. Back in 2020, Chairman Jung donated 90 million won to Gangjin County so that his contributions can help promote Yeongrang Kim Yoon-sik’s spirits of poetic literature.
“I started providing support to the award as I wish people today to pay more attention to poetry than they do now,” Jeong said. “I always propose that people around me should read poetry as it arouses subtle layers of emotions and feelings in their heart.”
Chairman Jeong was fascinated by Yeongrang’s “Until Peonies Bloom” when he was a freshman in Masan Commercial High School, which is currently renamed Yongma High School. He has been to Gangjin where the poet’s birthplace is located more than 10 times. His affection and respect toward Yeongrang is highlighted by the fact that he installed sculptures of “Like the Murmuring Ray of Sunlight upon the Pebble Fence” on the walls and stone fences in apartment complexes that Chairman Jung built.
“For the last 60 years, I have always appreciated folksy poetic language and rhythm that sounds like folk music in Yeongrang’s poetry,” Jeong said. He hoped that Yeongrang’s poetry and the Yeongrang Literary Award will be more widely known than now to produce any poet who is close to being a second Yeongrang.