KPop Academy Week 8: Korean Literature

Friday, 25 April 2014

I arrived late for this session of KPop Academy, so I missed the first bit of the class. However, I shall try and tell you as much as I can.

I came in to find Dr Grace Koh giving a lecture on Korean Literature. She is also from the School of African and Oriental Studies.

You can check out the links below for more in depth information. I have compiled as much as I can from the lecture below as well.

Korean literature

Korean Poetry

The first example of Korean Literary script using vernacular Korean was titled "Songs of Flying dragons". A comparison to these vernacular songs in modern times is KPop. Vernacular songs were the popular songs of Ancient times. The picture below is an example of the script.

 There are four types of traditional poetic forms which are Hyangga~native songs, Pyolgok~special songs, Sijo~current melodies, and Kasa~verses

 There are three types of vernacular songs which are Koryo Yoyo, Sogyo and Sijo. Sijo songs however are the most representative of Korean poetry just like Haiku is for the Japanese.

A standard Sijo is written in three lines  with four rhythmic pattern,
" Sijo may be narrative or thematic and introduces a situation in line 1, development in line 2, and twist and conclusion in line 3. The first half of the final line employs a “twist”: a surprise of meaning, sound, or other device. Sijo is often more lyrical and personal than other East Asian poetic forms, and the final line can take a profound turn."

There has been a lot of Korean literary minds that have dedicated their lives to Hyangga. They have attempted to translate it into modern day Korean language and other languages such as English, but still to this day there has been controversies in the interpretation because of the irregularities that exists in the scripts.

 Korean love poetry is mostly about yearning and thus usually doesn't have a happy ending. Dr Grace recommended we all read the boo below. She said it is a good example of Korean literature and it also tells a true story about compelling events during the Joseon Era.

After the lecture we were given 30 minutes to come up with our own Sijo Poem using what we have learnt.

To honour KPop, we wrote about the dreams and the reward of not giving up. Check it out below....

On the stage, where dreams are born, 
we all stood, with pounding hearts.
Silence fell, A name was called, 
applause erupted, my dreams were crushed.
On the stage again, I now stood, 
at the pinnacle of success.

By: Rabi, Ashia, Hanna, Vanessa and Ebony.


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