Translated by: Brother Anthony of Taizé, Chung Chong-wha
Publisher: Harvill, 1995.
Link to online store *
A young man’s determination to maintain his integrity in an unjust society forces him to endure a lonely and dangerous odyssey.
When a governor to the King falls into rebel hands, he switches sides to save his skin. When later he is captured by royal troops, it is not only he that is condemned to death as a traitor but his sons and grandsons too. They survive by subterfuge, but though they keep their lives, they have lost their place in society.
The Poet tells the story of Kim, the younger grandson, who is consigned to a life of wandering and vagrancy even as he struggles for recognition as a poet, who is constantly tempted to make compromises – to the point of betraying his own family – to survive as an artist and a free spirit.
A novel based on the life of a 19th century poet, Kim Sakkat, exploring his development as an artist against the backdrop of the insurrection by Hong Kyong-nae in the north-west.
* Where the book is available from a number of sources, they are prioritised as follows: (1) Amazon UK site, or Bookshop.org for the more recent uploads (2) Amazon US site (3) Other sites in US or Europe, including second-hand outlets (4) LTI Korea, where the title is advertised as available from there (5) Onlines stores in Korea. Links to Bookshop.org and Amazon UK site contain an affiliate code which, should you make a purchase, gives a small commission to LKL at no additional cost to you.