Visit to Poet Hill and Sajik Park in Seoul
When I launched the World According to Cosmos, my original intention was to have 60 percent of the site devoted to poetry, and fiction, 30 percent devoted to political rants and observations, and 10 percent devoted to travelogues. This is my second travelogue entry. I have a lot more plans over the next few weeks. Been saving them up. this one is about my recent trip to Poet’s Hill in Seoul and Sajik Park also in Seoul.
Visit to Poet Hill, and Sajik Park, Seoul Korea
“Wishing not to have
so much as a speck of shame
toward heaven until the day I die,
I suffered, even when the wind stirred the leaves.”
This photo of Chungun Park is courtesy of TripAdvisor
For most Koreans, whether young or old, the first verses of the late poet Yun Dong-ju’s famous poem “Foreword” are as familiar as the innumerable accounts of the dark period of Korean history during which they were birthed.
I took a trip the other day to the Poet’s Hill which celebrates the life of the late poet, Yun Dongju who died in a Japanese prison in 1945 at the age of 26. His crime? Writing poetry in Korean calling for Korean independence. For that he was arrested, and tortured to death in the waning days of the Japanese occupation.
The poet’s hill is located near the Blue house on the way to Ikwangsan mountain. There is a nice museum there and behind the museum a walk through the hills that look the same as when he lived in the neighborhood and wrote his most famous poems.
From there one can walk into Ikwangsan mountain park. There is a nice walk nearby that takes you into a shaman village filled with shamanistic shrines and the home of fortune tellers to this day.
That day we walked from the Poet’s hill along Ikwangsan to Sajik park. A total of 2 miles or so. It was a cold day in January but a brisk walk did us good. we saw frozen waterfalls along the way.
Duane Voorhees, the publisher of Poetree, published translations of his poems a while back. Here’s the link that Duane provided me.
HEAVEN – Duane Vorhees – FINAL
from the Poet’s Park we walked about two miles to Sajik park. Sajik Park was where the King led annual rituals in the Spring for the success of the harvest. The park was abandoned during the Japanese era but was rebuild in the 1980’s and they revived the ancient rituals starting on foundation day in 1988 and then on the first day of the spring according to the ancient lunar calendar. I hope to see that next Spring time. RAS does an annual trip to watch the rituals which are broadcast on life TV