Che Guevara in Korean poetry

by Philip Gowman on 29 November, 2006 updated 21 March, 2017

in Ask an expert | General book news | Literature | Poetry

Che Guevara visiting North Korea in Dec 1960

Che Guevara visiting North Korea in Dec 1960

Here’s a fascinating query I just received from a reader.

I am compiling a book of poetry from around the world about the Argentine-Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara. I have been referred to the titles of two Korean poems that make indirect references to Che:

  • In front of Kim Nam-ju’s grave written by Min Yeong in 2001 and
  • Memoirs written by Ko Eun published in 2002.

Would any of your readers perhaps be able to refer me to the volumes in which I might find either of these poems, as I am very anxious to include Korea in the collection. Also, if any of your readers know of any other Korean poems about Che, that would be of enormous help.

Over to you. Can anyone help?

Keywords:

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

daeguowl November 29, 2006 at 11:37 pm

Here is a link to the full text of the poem:
http://www.allpoem.co.kr/?doc=bbs/gnuboard.php&bo_table=poem&wr_id=47408

It comes from a book called
??? ?? ??
which is available from Kyobo

daeguowl November 30, 2006 at 12:18 am

Sorry for all the messing about but I couldn’t pass the anti-spam maths test, i’m not sure why.

A quick search at the allpoem.co.kr website has revealed some additional poems where he is mentioned:

Namely:

1. The pianist in Havana by Kim Yo-Il possibly from the book ?? ???.

2. (Ode to) Mejia by Kim Jae-Hong (about a korean pro-baseball player.

I suspect this might be an amateur unpublished poem that are self-submitted as there is no biographical information on him that is easily found.

The full list is (and note that the second one is a flase positive):
http://www.allpoem.co.kr/?doc=bbs%2Fgnusearch.php&srch_rows=15&srch_comment=1&srch_days=0&sselect=wr_content&stext=%C3%BC+%B0%D4%B9%D9%B6%F3&soperator=1

Philip Gowman November 30, 2006 at 12:25 am

Yes, sorry I had to resort to the maths test. And you can go back to school to get your sums right. Still, as an accountant (like you) I’m pretty useless with numbers too.

Thanks very much for the input. You are a complete star. Are you aware of whether any of these are available in translation? Maybe Brother Anthony has translated them?
Thanks again!

daeguowl November 30, 2006 at 1:15 am

Regarding the Ko Eun poem I haven’t been able to track anything down. I presume the poem quoted is ?? (Reminiscence) but reading it, it doesn’t have any overt references and I don’t get any literary references either. Anyhow the full text is available here:

http://www.allpoem.co.kr/?doc=bbs/gnuboard.php&bo_table=poem&wr_id=49609&sselect=wr_1&stext=??&soperator=1&srch_rows=15&srch_comment=1&srch_days=0

daeguowl November 30, 2006 at 1:19 am

I’ve been having terrible problems with the maths test. I don’t think it likes me inputting my website either that or it doesn’t like me clicking the box with my mouse rather than tabbing through……I don’t know anything further about the poems. What little I have found out is based on my ability with search engines and knowledge of the korean language combined with being jetlagged and thus having the time to search rather than any knowledge of korean poetry.

Philip Gowman November 30, 2006 at 10:00 am

Thanks for persisting, and for the feedback on the spam guard. It’s been partially successful (spam rates have dropped by about 90%) but still some are getting through. I’ll explore a different control device over the weekend if I get time.

One day I’ll learn Korean and be able to do some of this research myself…

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: