Aspects of Modernism in Korean poetry : Western influence on poetics and poems of Kim Kirim
Kim Kirim was the most prominent figure ~n the
Korean literary world during the 1930s. He was a poet
and critic, well versed in major western literary theories
and poems of that time, and a pioneer in employing the
techniques of western Modernism in literature. Kim
believed the Modernism of western poetry could be very
useful to reinvigorate the Korean poetry of the time.
This study compares several important concepts of
modern western poetics and poetry, as understood by Kim
Kirim, with those of the western poets and critics who
originally created and employed these new concepts.
Kim's poetics are analyzed in detail to trace his
theoretical understanding of western literary criticism
and to show how he used them in building theories of
modern Korean poetry.
Several of his "misconceptions" exist unquestioned
even at present and are strongly influencing modern Korean
poetry. It is therefore essential in understanding the
present state of Korean poetry that one begin with a study
of Kim Kirim, since he contributed so much to providing
new models for Korean poetry.
This· work begins with a discussion of the nature of
Korean poetry before the influence of Modernism. A
discussion of elements of new poetics in Korea as
introduced by Kim with special attention to areas of
possible misinterpretation, leads the way to analysis indetail of "Kisangdo", Kim's most famous work, in relation
to Eliot's poem "The Waste Land". Poetic concepts of
unity, rhythm, and objectivity in modern poetry are the
final areas of focus due to the importance that both Kim
and the western Modernists placed on them