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Author’s name : Lee Yuksa ( 1904 ~ 1944 )
Debut literary work
Author’s profile file
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Generally agreed to have been more of an activist than a poet by nature, Lee Yuksa is an incredibly dynamic figure in Korean literary history. In actuality, Lee only wrote about thirty poems throughout his short career, two of which were published posthumously. As a very young man, he became involved in various Korean independence movements, specifically with the Korean Government-in-Exile in Beijing. Because of this, Lee was constantly shuttling back and forth between Beijing and Korea, and was imprisoned a total of seventeen times.
It was when Lee returned to Korea in September of 1933 from one of his stints in Beijing that he began to truly concentrate on composing poetry, publishing his works under the name Yuksa. His first work, "Twilight " (Hwanghon), was published in 1933 in New Joseon (Sinjoseon). In 1934 he worked with various organs of public opinion, including New Korea (Sinjoseon), the Jung-oe Daily newspaper (Jung-oe Ilbo), and Inmunsa. Lee also went on to try his hand at Chinese poetry, Sijo, treatises, criticism, translation, and drama, showing a great deal of skill in each. In 1935 he wrote the Sijo, "Three Themes on Spring and Fall" (Chunchusamje), and the poem, “The Lost Theme” (Silje), and in 1937 he launched the literary magazine Meridian (Jaoseon) along with Shin Seokcho, Yoon Gongang, Kim Gwanggyun, and others. Lee also published symbolic yet abundantly lyrical pastoral poems, including “Grapes” (Cheongpodo), “Tall Tree” (Gyomok), and “Plantaint” (Pacho). His poetry was mostly featured in Inmunsa, Pungnim, Composition, and Human Criticism, but outside of his composition of poetry he was dedicated to the struggle for independence and was imprisoned seventeen times throughout his life. As seen in what could be called his representative works, Wilderness and Mountaintop, his poetry takes as its theme the misfortunes of the people under colonialism and exhibits a strong will of resistance, and it is characterized by its solemn praise of the inextinguishable will of the people.
Born in Andong, Gyeongsangbuk-do, on April 4, 1904 (by the lunar calendar), Lee Yuksa studied "new learning" at Bomun School, and then again at the Daegu Gyonam School. In 1925 he joined the independence movement organization ‘Uiyeoldan’ and went over to Japan to attend a Japanese University. Subsequently, he was sent by Uiyeoldan on a mission to Peking, where he became involved with the Korean Government-in-Exile. In 1926 he returned briefly to Korea, only to go back to Peking and enroll in the Peking Military Academy. When he returned to Korea once more in the fall of 1927, he was sentenced to three years in prison. He was released in 1929, and he returned to China the following year. While studying sociology at Peking University he participated in various independence movement groups, such as Jeonguibu, Gunjeongbu, and Uiyeoldan, and actively entered into the Korean struggle for independence. In 1941, Lee experienced lung trouble and was admitted to St. Mary Hospital where he received medical treatment. In early spring of 1943, however, he returned to China to carry on the independence movement. In April of that year he came once again to Korea, where he was arrested once more and then transported back to Peking. He died in prison on January 16, 1944, at the age of 40.
Translated book’s name
The Wind and the Waves
Original title :
한국 4인 시선<바람과 파도>
Asian Humanities Press (AHP)
Translated by :
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