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Kim Sowol: Google Doodle celebrates Korean language poet’s 118th birthday

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Google Doodle praises the 118th birthday celebration of a Korean language poet Kim Sowol (김소월) on September 7, 2020.

Who was Kim Sowol?

Kim Sowol
Kim Sowol (김소월)

Born as Kim Jeong-sik (김정식; 金廷湜) on September 7, 1902, in present-day North Korea’s Kusŏng, North Pyongan Province in the Korean Empire, was celebrated for his contributions to early modern poetry.

At fifteen years old, Jeong-sik went to the respected Osan Middle School (likewise the alma mater of Baek Seok and Kim Eok), where he became a long-lasting protégé of the teacher and poet Kim Eok, who remained his coach for the rest of his life.

In 1920, Kim Sowol published his first poems in a literary magazine, after which he expected the pen-name Sowol, which translates into “White Moon.” While still a secondary school student in 1922, Sowol published his well-known work “The Azaleas”, the only collection of poetry published in his lifetime, while he was still a teenager.

In 1923, Kim Sowol went to Japan, yet he soon came back to Seoul, where he remained for the following two years attempting to develop a career in literature. In any case, he at that point came back to his native region, to the town of Namsai, where he functioned as the manager of the local office of the Dong-an Ilbo newspaper. Even though his poems kept on showing up there, their quality decayed and Kim’s life descended to habitual drinking and revealed suicide in 1934.

Kim Sowol proceeded to compose more than 150 literary works and in 1925 published his sole collection of poems, additionally named “The Azaleas.” Sowol’s lifetime of genuine compositions solidified his inheritance as one of Korea’s most appreciated poets, and right up ’til the present time numerous Koreans can discuss his poems by heart. The annual Sowol Poetry Prize, built up in 1987 in Kim Sowol’s honor, is viewed as one of the most prestigious awards in Korean poetry.

For a mind-blowing duration, Kim Sowol composed his poignant poetry in a style reminiscent of traditional Korean folk songs. The most prized example of this style was “Azaleas (진달래꽃)”, the title poem of his sole collection of poetry.

Kim Sowol passed on December 24, 1934, at 32 years old in present-day Kwaksan, North Korea.

On September 7, 2020, Google Doodle, outlined by visitor artist Eusong Lee, observes Kim Sowol’s 118th Birthday. “The Azaleas” is a melancholic poem of love and loss that motivated the colorful burst of Azalea flowers that encompasses his picture in Google Doodle artwork.

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Dan Zinman started his career as an astronomer and college professor and quickly expanded into popularizing the understanding of science and scientific discovery. He did this through writing books, essays, and articles. He is contributing by writing news articles for timebulletin.com.