As is known, Cho Ji-hoon became a poet at the recommendation of Jeong Ji-yong. At that time, the process of making a debut as a poet was a little different from now. One was called a poet only when the recommendation called ‘churyo’ was completed three times. Cho Ji-hoon was recommended for his first work in 1939, and the recommendation was completed in February 1940, the following year. The last recommended works published in the ‘Munjang’ magazine are the famous ‘Phoenix in Grief’ and the little-known ‘Hyangmun.’ More than 80 years have passed, but in terms of the season, the recommendation was completed around this time of the year. In February 1940, 20-year-old Cho Dong-tak became a poet, Cho Ji-hoon.
In an article congratulating the completion of the recommendation, Jeong Ji-yong praised Cho as a neoclassical poet with a “retrospective esprit.” It means that Cho is said to have deep admiration for the bygone era, and it is palpably felt in ‘Dongyacho.’
This poem is quite peculiar. It is short, yet the composition is rich, and the scene transition is dynamic. The 1st stanza is set in a distant scene, but the 2nd stanza closes in on a nearer scene. The 2nd stanza is the distant past, but in the 3rd stanza, it is narrowed down to today's reality.
When you read it, the panorama whizzes by as if you are watching a movie. It is rather unassuming to see Ji-hoon, a poet who smacks of being serious at all times, missing his grandmother as he portrays himself as a ‘grown-up baby.’ In the month in which the poet Cho Ji-hoon was born, it will be our small joy to appreciate his poems that bring the winter night ambience and the characteristics of the poet to the limelight.