The 18th poetry anthology by the poet Kim Nam Jo, recipient of the 2017 Jeong Jiyong Literature Prize.
- Book Intro
“You have lived ninety years / The clock says / I reply, I know // The clock asks, / What is your wish? / I reply, / An ego born of my heart / And effort to do my best / But a moment passes / And I change my reply / Love, wealth / And longevity // Bursting into laughter, the clock says: / From the most worldly of men / I expected no less... / Without rest, the clock / goes and waits”
“Clock” by Kim Nam Jo
Youlhwadang is proud to present the 18th poetry anthology by the poet Kim Nam Jo, who celebrates his 90th birthday this year. This anthology includes “Clock,” winner of the Jeong Jiyong Literature Prize, and 63 new compositions.
Kim’s first anthology Life was published in 1953, kicking off a 64-year career as a poet. As the oldest member of the world of Korean poetry, Kim confesses, “For the past decade, I’d wanted to lay down my pen and spend my time reading poetry and books by other people. But every time I saw something or thought about something, the poetry would overflow inside me, and the words wouldn’t let me go until I’d put them to paper.” In the preface to this anthology, Kim writes, “Even now, in the twilight of my years, the fact that I still see, feel, learn, and resonate with the world remains the same.” In spite of the unspoken rigors of the artistic process, it is clear that poetry is Kim’s calling in life.
In the preface, Kim also remarks, “The significance of life, the awe of responding to that revelation, and the slow but reverent growth of our outlook on it—all these things are a curious blessing, a source of gratitude, and the wellspring of our most fervent desires. These notions occupied my mind all throughout the writing process.” He adds, “I would like to publish another anthology after this one.” Kim’s powerful validation of a life filled with love and hope rings loud and clear in this anthology.
- About the Author
Born 1927 in Daegu, North Gyeongsang Province, Kim Nam Jo graduated from the Department of Korean Literature at the College of Education in Seoul National University. He made his literary debut in 1950 on the Yeonghap Newspaper with a collection of poems including “Constellations” and “Afterimage,” and published his first anthology Life in 1953—the first of eighteen poetry anthologies in his career. Kim has also been published in multiple award anthologies. In 1997, he released a collection of vignettes titled Beautiful People. Kim is the recipient of the Korean Poets’ Association Prize, the Seoul City Cultural Prize, the Korea Arts and Culture Prize, and the Manhae Prize. Currently, he is a professor emeritus at Sookmyung Women’s University and a member of the National Academy of Arts.