Poet Kim Hyeon-seung, a senior in Pyongyang Soongsil and a professor at SSU in Seoul, especially loved autumn among the four seasons and wrote autumnal poetry. It would be nice to call the poet ‘sentimental.’ The dictionary definition of ‘sentimental’ is ‘easy to be influenced by the seasons or the climate.’ We say, “I’m getting cold” or “I’m getting spring fever.” In that sense, poet Kim Hyun-seung can be called getting sentimental in the fall. I hope we can enjoy how poet Dahyung Kim Hyun-seung experienced autumn, learn about the confessions he made, and enjoy this fall together.
For him, autumn was the time to be alone, the time to look at himself. The time of the flesh has receded, and the time of the soul has arrived. Autumn is a season of “The body of the year / We’ve used up to August / Now only half of our souls / remain with us. (1st verse of Autumn is not here yet.)”
Fall is also the season of tea. “I drink tea / to autumn does not feel lonely.” (1st verse of Dahyung) The narrator drinks tea because autumn is lonely. “Autumn / More than alcohol / Good times to brew a tea... (medium) ...brew / and brew / drenched in the heart as if loneliness is a fragrance.” (1st & 5th verses of Mudeungcha) The poet prefers to drink ‘tea’ to control loneliness. Rather than drinking alcohol, tea is made into a scent of loneliness, showing the tone of being soaked in it. “Nobody knows / a high fragrance / I only drink it / fo ra long time.” (4th verse ofD ahyung)
We live the life of the soul at the same time as the life of the flesh. For poet Kim Hyun-seung, the body is like a flower, eventually blooming and disappearing, while the fruit will remain for a long time. Fall is a time to bear fruit rather than to blossom. Our lives consist of disappearing and staying longer. It is divided into the visible world and the invisible world, the body-feeling world, the mind-awakened world, the fleeting world, and the infinite world of time and space that will not disappear. In general, we go through the former’s life fiercely and live in the latter’s dream of transcending and
transcending the latter’s life.
If the first semester was the spring semester, the second semester is the fall semester. Even in the second semester, the epidemic is unlikely to go away completely, and as in the first semester, I think we will have more time to study alone. Also, we can have the time to think alone. I encourage and support poet Kim Hyun-seung’s autumn psalms to enjoy the fall semester, ‘when life is a pleasure,’ half-drink and tea, encompassing flowers, fruits, body, and soul.
Kim In-seob (Professor, Dept. of Creative Arts)