Kim Su-yeong

Kim Su-yeong (Seoul, 1921 - 1968) was a Korean poet and translator whose poetry explored love and freedom as poetic and political ideals. He lived in Japan during the first part of the Second World War, following an interest in the theatre and other arts at Tokyo University. In 1943, he fled to Manchuria to avoid the Japanese military draft. However, during the Korean War, he was drafted into the North Korean Korean People's Army. Escaping from the North, he wound up imprisoned in a POW camp in South Korea. Later he majored in English Language and Linguistics at Yonsei University, again without completing a degree. He died in a traffic accident in South Korea.

Kim's literary orientation became clear when he led other young Korean poets in "The Second Half," a group dedicated to redirecting Korean poetry away from the traditionalism and lyricism of the early 1950s by confront social concerns by using language in a new way. Among the innovations were the use of surrealism, abstraction, prose, slang and profanity in Kim's poems. Kim's early poems were in a Modernist style, though later he changed directions, using everyday language in addressing social issues. Many are political, either overtly or by hidden implication.

According to the scholar of Korean literature, Brother Anthony of Taize, Kim's significance and impact only really took place after his death. He only published one volume of poetry (in 1959). Shortly before his death, he wrote a theoretical article which sparked a lively debate.

Perhaps his best-known poem is "Grass". The Kim Su-yong Contemporary Poetry Award is named in his honor.

Read more about Kim Su-yeong:  Publications, Honors

Other articles related to "kim":

Kim Su-yeong - Honors
... Korean Poets' Association Prize for Poetry, 1958 (first recipient) The Kim Suyeong Literary Award was established 1981 in his honor ...