Drinking is a culture that occupies a huge part in human life. As a result, it is true that literary creations continue to appear within such culture. This research seeks to examine the features of poetries that play the role of the unique function called gwonju (offering drinks) among the drinking literature, and in particular, the features of Korean language gwonju songs. The substantive uniformity of the Korean language gwonju songs and the reality of the group of works that inherit the pulse of the poetry of ‘Jangjinju,’ which has long been originated from the eastern literature, will also be studied.
First of all, this research examined the thematic consciousness and expression aspect of the Korean language gwonju songs. Substantively, the works all follow the tradition of the thematic consciousness appearing in ‘Jangjinju’ of Lee Baek and Lee Ha during the Tang dynasty. The thematic consciousness that can be organized into two themes, which are ‘the feeling of sorrows coming from vanity of human life’ and ‘the justification of drinking’ pursuant to such feeling, all flow through from ‘Jangjinjusa’ to ‘Gwonjuga,’ a 12 Lyrics Collection. In addition, these works show several of the same expression aspects to show such themes. First of all, vanity of human life is sang through the meaninglessness of post-death originating from ‘Jangjinju’ of Lee Ha. It shows an aspect of exhibiting both sorrow and justification by asking, who would recommend drinking after death. Next, the object of gwonju, ‘Mr., You,’ appears externallyor internally. It can be said that the existence of others was necessary because it was a song playing the role of the function of exchanging drinks by filling the other's glass rather than drinking by oneself by filling one's own glass. Lastly, the act of recommending drinking appears through the language. In addition to the direct orders or suggestions to drink, such as ‘Drink,’ or ‘Let’s drink,’ indirect demands such as ‘Are you not trying to drink?’ appear as well. These phrases are all used as a device to show the actual feature of gwonju.
Next, this study examined the power of the Korean language gwonju songs and the possibility of its systematization. The first work of this category that may be confirmed at present is ‘Jangjinjusa.’ The Korean poems of Shin Heum, Cheon-taek Kim, and an anonymous poet and ‘Gwonjuga’ of Park In-ro that were included in Cheonggu-Yeongeon along with this song, were listed in the same collection of poems because they were enjoyed in the same era. In addition, ‘Gwonjuga’ in the 12 Lyrics Collection was also formed in the 18thcentury,whichshowtheaspectofappearingincombinationwiththethreeprevioustypes. Thus, four songs were enjoyed in the same entraining space at a certain time. However, there was a trend of treating these as individual works rather than under one system. This article made attempts to regard these as one independent system. An example of trying to understand various forms of songs under one system can be found in ‘Eobuga.’ It has systematizaed Korean language songs as ‘Eobuga’ in comparison to the Chinese poem, ‘Eobusa.’ In light of such, the Korean language gwonju songs were understood to be sufficiently likely to be systematizaed under one system. Of course, the meaning obtained in the study of each song is huge. However, the breadth and sectors of Korean language poetry can be expanded and the horizon of the literary history can be enlarged through systematization. Thus, the Korean literature history at the latter part of the Joseon era can be expected to become richer when having a macroscopic view regarding Korean language gwonju songs. Moreover, the works that we inherit at present have meaning through its survival, whether or not they have strong or weak power, thus accordingly, other works also have huge value. Furthermore, there is a need to be reminded of the fact that our ancestors enjoyed and created other Korean language gwonju songs even when the existence of ‘Jangjinjusa’ was strong. Therefore, just as ‘Eobuga’ gained a status of an independent collection of works during the Kim Su-jang era, it would be proper to acknowledge the Korean language gwonju songs as an individual system this day.