The purpose of this study is to reveal the rhetoric of ‘pain’ in the poetry of Gi Hyeong-do. The problem of pain in Gi Hyeong-do’s poems comes from compassion, which is a key mechanism for driving his poetic world and serves as an element of securing his unique poetic territory. First, the observer's dual gaze is structured into an allegory of 'pain/hope'. Typically, 'fog' and 'mouth' are allegories of 'social and historical pain/hope of liberation' in a narrow way, but widely of 'real pain/hope of restoration of dignity'. Second, neurosis such as 'anxiety, obsessive compulsion, delusional reaction, phobia' appear as a way of self-replicating existential pain. Extreme pain is a desperate poetic tool that induces healing of a damaged being. At this time, grotesque images are being used to effectively reveal mental and physical symptoms caused by neurosis.
Third, light imagination is a symbolic tool for restoring damaged beings. In particular, the flying light dynamically embodies the qualitative transition of existence.
A Gi Hyeong-do’s poem is the most exemplary text that embodies the value of compassion through the aesthetics of pain. Gi Hyeong-do deeply sympathized with the pain of human beings trapped in ruins, and managed the pain in a refined manner in his poem, and thus embodied a unique sense of compassion.
The poetic restoration of the damaged existence is the hope pursued by Gi Hyeong-do against the dilapidated realities and existential limitations of the 1970s and 1980s, which means the ultimate direction of the world and furthermore has the significance of poetic practice of compassion ethics. All of this can be presented on the basis that Gi Hyeong-do’s poetry goes beyond the solid frame of a tragic world view.