Go to contents

Literary works published to commemorate late poet Kim Ji-ha

Literary works published to commemorate late poet Kim Ji-ha

Posted December. 21, 2022 07:44,   

Updated December. 21, 2022 07:44


“You must come back on the ground from underground.” (Yoo Hong-joon, former president of the Cultural Heritage Administration)

There was a press gathering at a restaurant in Jongno, downtown Seoul, on Tuesday for the publication of “Kim Ji-ha, open your life with a burning thirst,” a commemorative collection of literary works dedicated to Kim Ji-ha (1941∼2022, pictured), a Korean poet who passed away in May this year. The gathering saw the attendance of many other old friends of Kim’s, including Lee Bu-young, a former lawmaker, Song Cheol-won, the president of the Research Institute of Modern History Records, and Lim Jin-taek, a play director.

The book is a compilation of the commemorating speeches recited by Kim’s friends at his 49th rite and other writings dedicated to the late poet published afterward. Most writings were to recall their fond memories with him and urge him to shed new light on his achievements.

“He was a pioneer in bringing a cultural movement to South Korea and a leading exponent of life movement,” Mr. Yoo said, who went to Jungdong middle school and the Department of Aesthetics at SNU as the late poet did. “It is a shame that even the generation X in their 40s or 50s have only a vague idea about who he was, let alone the generation MZs.”

About the controversial op-ed that he contributed to a daily newspaper when protesters set themselves on fire in protest of the death of Kang Kyeong-dae, a college student beaten to death by police officers in 1991, Kim’s colleagues said it was about time to let it go.

“In his late years, his obstinacy made things quite difficult for his friends, but that reflects his fierce will for life,” former lawmaker Lee Bu-young said. “I was angry with him for a long time, but now I am all over it,” said President Song. “I hope he will be laughing in heaven.”

They are planning to hold a commemorative symposium to mark the first anniversary of Kim’s funeral in May next year to study his poetry and thoughts on life. “Our approach is to put together the entirety of his literary world from resistance to life,” said Lim Jin-taek.