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A Study of Seo Jungju's Poems in the Days of the Crane's Singing

  • Korean Language & Literature
  • 2010, (73), pp.237-260
  • Publisher : Korean Language & Literature
  • Research Area : Humanities > Korean Language and Literature

안현심 1

1한남대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Seo Jung-Ju's collection of poems, entitled Poems in the Days of the Crane's Singing, rewrites the all familiar history of the Korean people. It seems that Seo did this to reexamine the identity of the Korean people. This is clearly revealed by the mythic characters in the first half of the book. Seo exaggerates the positive aspects of the myth, and subverts the negative aspects of it. The poems in this collection are written in prose style with the purpose of delivering more effectively the secondary meanings of mythic and historic facts. A prose poem is more suitable for explanation and teaching than a lyric poem. Seo’s later poems tend to be prosaic because he was influenced by postmodernism. Postmodern literature subverts and deconstructs the existing values. In other words, it deconstructs any center-oriented powers and it fosters the spirit of the prose which allows difference and diversity. However, the prose style of Seo’s poetry is more related to his persistent decontruction of his own poetic world than to the influence of postmodernism, In other words, a master poet creates his own unique poetic world both in form and contents, unswayed by the responses of the reader. Therefore, a great poet like Seo, creates poetry that reflects his own beliefs, little minding the readers. This has led some critics to say that his poetry is a product of a proud master poet. On the other hand, Seo’s poetry is a creative art form as a parody of Pansori, a traditional Korean music form. His poetic lines, which seem disconnected but coherent, are a representation of Yukzabaegi, a traditional Korean song originated in Jeonra province, and they also have some elements of Pansori. Seo was born in Jeonra province and he uses the dialect of that province very effectively. The fact that Seo grew up in that province explains why his poetry adopts the language of Yuksabaegi.

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