Heo Nanseolheon, a Korean female poet in the 16th century, wrote a poem titled “Gokja (cry for children)” after losing two children. Heo's sorrow was beyond imagination to the extent that she sheds bloody tears to hide her cry in her poem. Hundreds of years have passed since then. Everything has changed from the era she lived. However, it is delusional to say everything has changed. For parents who lost their children and those who lost their brothers, sisters, and friends, Heo’s bloody tears are nothing but relatable.
We cannot say this too shall pass. We cannot tell them to walk it off. We cannot live as if nothing has happened. We cannot read a large number of poems that encourage overcoming struggles for a bright future to them. It’s because too many young souls left us who would have been brought up in our society.
Therefore, I read the saddest poem I know to them. I read out the most painful hearts that are beyond explanation. Heo’s sadness for losing her children doesn’t go away even 400 years later. Her sorrow overflows. And the sorrow is no different from today’s one.