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Clinging on to the passing spring

Posted April. 15, 2022 07:59,   

Updated April. 15, 2022 07:59


The term “blue spring” is used to describe not only the spring of nature but also the spiring of life, that is, the youth. Spring is full of life, vitality, and infinite possibility; it is thus always fresh and noble. Across all ages and countries, people have lamented the spring that passes so quickly, as seen in the song ‘One Fine Spring.’ “When flower blooms / we laugh together / when flower falls / we cry together.” Flowers that seemed to have fallen are somehow miraculously blossoms again, as though they have listened the poet’s earnest prayer. Swallows that have been gone far away also come by and livens up the mood. Cuckoos chatter all night, as if they confidently assure that they can bring back the spring wind. Busy gestures to seize the spring reinforces the poet’s tenacity. He is confident that he can summon the spring wind.

Cuckoos have many bynames; ani, coua, coucal, guira, and roadrunner, to name a few. They are often considered as harbinger of tragedy due to legends from the Eastern Han dynasty in China. “Crying Bird,” a poem written by Kim So-wol (“Oh, how sorrowful! / My sister died from jealousy / and became a crying bird”), and “Cuckoo,” a poem written by Kim Young-rang (“Gulping down blood out of the mouth after crying / a small bird suffered from grudge and sadness for its life”) capture such sorrowful imagery provided by the bird. To the poet, however, the cry of the bird is not painful lamentation, but it is determination to firmly hold its youth that will soon wane. The poet’s farewell to the spring is not irrational tantrum, but it is his resolution not to grieve over what is to come after the spring is gone, because the spring is still in full bloom.