[SHC World Poetry Month] “새로운 길 (New Path)” by 윤동주 Yun Dong-Ju

by Kim Bo Kyeong

Yun Dong-Ju (1917–1945). Photo credits: Wikidata.

Yun Dong-Ju (1917–1945) was a Chinese-born Korean poet who lived during the Japanese colonization of Korea. As part of his collection “Sky, wind, stars and poems,” ‘New Path’ was written in 1938, about a month after entering Yeonhui Technical School, now known as Yonsei University. After graduating from college, he moved to Kyoto Doshisha University in Japan, to study English literature in 1942. In 1943, he was arrested and imprisoned for “thought crime” and participating in anti-Japanese movements for two years. His collected works were delayed for publication due to Japanese censorship. His family published his poems in 1948, following his death in prison on 16 February 1945.

I chose this poem because it illustrates his will to live each day like a new beginning filled with hope in the face of adversities. For example, the stream and the hill in the poem imply hardships. Meanwhile, the forest and the town refer to hope and peace. Additionally, he states the dandelion, the magpie, the lady, and the wind that symbolize things that bring hope to his life. He finishes the poem by repeating the phrase, “Cross the stream, towards the forest; Cross the hill, towards the town,” to highlight his persistence to overcome adversities and arrive in a peaceful place.

“새로운 길 (New Path)” by Yun Dong-Ju. Recited by Kim Bo Kyeong.

“새로운 길 (New Path)”

by 윤동주 Yun Dong-Ju (South Korea)

(English translation)

Cross the stream, towards the forest

Cross the hill, towards the town

The path I went yesterday, and I’ll go today

My path, new path

Dandelion blooms, magpie flies

Lady passes, wind blows

My path is always a new path

Today… and tomorrow…

Cross the stream, towards the forest

Cross the hill, towards the town

Recited by: Kim Bo Kyeong (Year 2, Faculty of Social Sciences)

Produced by: Editorial Team of the SHC Media Club, Nicolo Ludovice, Sean Suntoso, Aurell Sulaiman, Chong Sze Teng

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