Spring is a poem

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Spring is a poem


What is spring to city dwellers?
We find spring in greening trees along the streets, blossoming flower beds next to a building and women’s bright clothing. We also find it in footage of flowers in bloom on the evening TV. However, the spring that poets and artists everywhere have sung about since time immemorial is not the return of blossoms and colors around us but the spring we feel in our hearts.
A poet’s spring is a vague desire:
It is neither you nor he/ It is nothing, maybe a flower, maybe a tear/ Maybe a story/ Someone with such a face/ Goes and goes by under the bright sun/ Waving his hand. (From “Wind from the West” by Kim Chun-soo)
A meaningless poem is beauty at its peak.
Spring is also a season when we want to go crazy:
In the spring, I want to wear see-through clothes/ wear seven flowers on my head/ take off my shoes/ and walk from Cheongpa-dong to Suyuri pointing fingers, swaggering/ In the spring I go crazy like yellow dust and haze. (From Choi Seung-ja’s “Ancestral Worship from Afar”)
Spring is the unforgettable first love:
Pointing at a darkening mountain/ There, an azalea and there, over there as well/ Every time you point in surprise/ A flower mixed in blood and darkness/ Blossoms at the tip of your finger/ Then, if you only call me/ at the abysmal cliff/ I feel like blossoming into a flower. (“Before it Gets Dark,” Lee Seong-bok)
Spring is when we burn the night with tears:
Thinking about what kept me awake till the crying of the rooster at dawn/ My heart may have already all burned black/ It may be like the bitter crying of forsaken sisters/... /Your voice that burns like the color of an azalea somewhere. (From “Chinese Scops Owl” by Park Bong-u”)
Spring is therefore memory:
I look at the royal azalea blossoming next to another/ I look at it over and over again/ A woman lives in the flower/ We sleep with dolls/ If dolls sleep first we sleep with dreams/ If dreams sleep first/ We sleep with memories. (From Gam Tae-jun’s “Royal Azalea Love Song”)
Up late at night writing, we read “Spring Night” by the Chinese poet Su Shi of the Song Dynasty:
Fifteen minutes reading a poem is worth millions.
This spring, every night, we can become rich. It is the season when a fisherman finds his utopia with a poem, drunk with the smell of flowers under the moonlight. It is also the season when peach flowers float down rivers.

The writer is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.

By Cho Hyun-wook [poemlove@joongang.co.kr ]
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