70 Representative Korean Poets

In 2009 the Korean web portal Daum published a total of 70 poems online from poets that seen as representative of modern Korean poetry. These poems became more than just my an introduction to Korean literature; they formed one of the first times I saw a use for Korean beyond understanding music, casual conversation, and the occasional drama.

Thanks to the role these poems had in giving me a deeper appreciation of Korean culture, I want to share them to help others see more of what South Korea offers.

The poems were later taken down by Daum after being anthologized in Falling in Love with Poetry (시, 사랑에 빠지다), so I’ve decided to rehost all 70 untranslated poems in their entirety. Below is a complete list of the poets and poems contained in the PDF.  

  1. Hwang In-Sook (황인숙) – Love’s Wasteland (사랑의 황무지)
  2. Ahn Do-Hyeon (안도현) – Cormorant (가마우지)
  3. Park Ra-Yeon (박라연) – If That Too is Love (그것도 사랑이라면)
  4. Jang Kyeong-Rin (장경린) – Black Monday 4 (블랙 먼데이 4)
  5. Hwang Myeong-Seung (황명승) – Final Love Scene (궁극의 애정신)
  6. Kim Yeong-Nam (김영남) – Fixing Sigma to Firefly Light (반닷불이에 시그마 붙이며)
  7. Park Hyeong-Joon (박형준) – Lips (입술)
  8. Lee Je-Ni (이제니) – A Single Name (단 하나의 이름)
  9. Park Sang-Soon (박상순) – Me, You (나는 네가)
  10. Kim Yeong-Seung (김영승) – Boomerang (부메랑)
  11. Kimg Kyeong-Mi (김경미) – Lover’s Number (연애의 횟수)
  12. Lee Soo-Myeong (이수명) – In That House (그 집에는)
  13. Nam Jin-Woo (남진우) – Land of Fire (화염국)
  14. Wi Seon-Hwan (위선환) – Lunar Eclipse (월식)
  15. Song Chang-Ho (송찬호) – Salt Storehouse (소금창고)
  16. Choi Moon-Ja (최문자) – Love for Skins (껍질의 사랑)
  17. Hwang Seong-Hee (황성희) – Disappointed Love (실연)
  18. Heo Soo-Kyeong (허수경) – Riddle (수수께끼)
  19. Lee Moon-Jae (이문재) – Sundial (태양계)
  20. Maeng Moon-Jae (맹문재) – Holding Out an Apology (사과를 내민다)
  21. Lee Sa-Ra (이사라) – In a Round Ring (둥근 반지 속으로)
  22. Lee Seong-Bu (이성부) – An Unexpected Briskness (어느 사이 속보速步가 되어)
  23. Heo Man-Ha (허만하) – Love’s Starlight (사랑의 별빛)
  24. Kim Myeong-Ri (김명리) – House of Memory (기억의 집)
  25. Kim Kwang-Kyu (김광규) – Moisture 2 (물기 2)
  26. Kim Hye-Soo (김혜수) – Drying Rack (덕장)
  27. Kang Seong-Eun (강성은) – A Stroll Inside a Black Pocket (검은 호주머니 속의 산책)
  28. Jeong Jin-Kyu (정진규) – Mistletoe and Winter Clothes (겨우살이)
  29. Choi Jeong-Rye (최정례) – Thoughts, a Flock of Crows (생각의 까마귀떼라)
  30. Moon Hye-Jin (문혜진) – The Hunter and the Sniper (몰이꾼과 저격수)
  31. Na Hee-Deok (나희덕) – And the Birds, They Fly (새는 날아가고)
  32. Kim Hye-Soon (김혜순) – Birthday (생일)
  33. Moon Jeong-Hee (문정희) – To Someone (사람에게)
  34. Jang Ok-Gwan (장옥관) – The Herb Thief (허브 도둑)
  35. Kim Haeng-Sook (김행숙) – Let’s Write Love Letters (연애편지를 쓰자)
  36. Kang Eun-Kyo (강은교) – Large Photo (꽤 큰 사진 한 장)
  37. Ma Jong-Gi (마종기) – Shelling Walnuts (호두 까기)
  38. Jeong Ggeut-Byeol (정끝별) – Kang-geu-ra, Ka-reu-choo (강그라 가르추)
  39. Jin Eun-Yeong (진은영) – Some Infantryman (어떤 보병)
  40. Song Jae-Hak (송재학) – The Dead Do Age ( 죽은 사람도 늙어간다)
  41. Ko Eun (고은) – Love is the Lack Thereof (사랑은 사랑의 不足입니다)
  42. Kim Keyong-Joo (김경주) – The Wave Asleep in  My Hair (내 머리카락에 잠든 물결)
  43. Lee Jin-Myeong (이진명) – Slave (노예)
  44. Shim Bo-Seon (심보선) – Lost Gift (잃어버린 선물)
  45. Kil Sang-Ho (길상호) – The Snow that Fell that Night (그 밤에 내린 눈은)
  46. Sohn Taek-Soo (손택수) – Papaya (모과)
  47. Lee Byeong-Ryul (이병률) – Microwave Rice (봉지밥)
  48. Park Nam-Cheol (박남철) – My Mother Living in a Rented Room in Seoul (서울의 사글셋방에서 사시는 우리 어머님)
  49. Lee Jae-Moo (이재무) – 출구가 없다 (There is no Exit)
  50. Kim Ki-Taek (김기택) – A Smile Approaches (웃음이 걸어오고 있다)
  51. Ahn Hyeon-Me (안현미) – Union (합체)
  52. Moon In-Soo (문인수) – The Longs Arms of ‘I Miss You’ (그립다는 말의 긴 팔)
  53. Ha Jong-Oh (하종오) – Family Background to Marriage (결혼의 가족사)
  54. Shin Yong-Mok (신용목) – Empty Lot Footrace (공터의 달리기)
  55. Yoon Je-Rim (윤제림) – Like Nothing at All (아무렇지도 않게)
  56. Park Hoo-gi (박후기) – Flower Allergies (꽃기침)
  57. Kim So-Yeon (김소연) – Fading Flesh (투명해지는 육체)
  58. Lee Seung-Hoon (이승훈) – Love (사랑)
  59. Choi Yeong-Mi (최영미) – Dream of Four Seasons (사계절의 꿈)
  60. Hwang Hak-Joo (황학주) – Yellow-tailed Kite (노랑꼬리 연)
  61. Yoo Ahn-Ji (유안지) – To East Seokwipo (西歸浦 동쪽으로 가요)
  62. Kim Min-Jeong (김민정) – Deaf…Gloves (벙어리…장갑)
  63. Kim Yong-Taek (김용택) – When the Birds Fall Silent (새들이 조용할 때)
  64. Kim Jong-Kil (김종길) – Those Things (그것들)
  65. Moon Tae-Joon (문태준) – Island (섬)
  66. Jo Yong-Mi (조용미) – Spring, Yanghwasorok (봄, 양화소록)
  67. Shin Dal-Ja (신달자) – That Person (그 사람은)
  68. Lee Jeong-Rok (이정록) – Goblin Pillar (도깨비기둥)
  69. Jang Seok-Nam (장석남) – The Cheek Thief (뺨의 도둑)
  70. Cheon Yang-Hee (천양희) – Place a Single Stamp (우표 한 장 붙여서)

 

  • Thanks a ton for uploading this. I’m learning Korean and thought translating some poetry by myself might be helpful for that, so this list is exactly what I needed.

  • Jibril Ikharo

    No problem, I’m glad to be of help! I should note that as I’ve been going over the poems in the PDF, I’ve found that sometimes there are extra spaces in words at the beginning of a line. I haven’t gotten around to uploading a revised PDF because it seems like such a small detail that doesn’t really affect comprehension too much.

    Also, I don’t know what resources you already use for learning Korean, but I would be glad to give a few suggestions if you’re interested.