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90-year-old U.S. resident translates poet Yoon Dong-ju's works into English Updated: 2020-06-03 17:14:01 KST

"By heavens, 'till the day I am to expire; Agonized I for the sake of the life; Of no disgrace. So be inspired even; by the whisk of the wind"

Yoon Dong-ju, the late poet who wrote that beloved poem, is famous for opposing Japan's rule of Korea in the early 1900s through pen and paper.
His love for the Korean alphabet, Hangeul, called him to write his poems in Korean amid Japan's crackdown on the language and culture.
Almost 80 years after his death, a volume of his works along with some historical background on him has been published by a 90-year-old resident of Virginia who saw a need to expose Yoon's works to the rest of the world.

"Many winners of the Nobel Prize in Literature are translated versions. That said, I didn't want such great works to be confined to Korea. I wanted to use my humble skills to introduce the poems to western literature."

Mr. Pyon Man-sik emigrated to the U.S. in 1967 but was too busy to look back on his home country until he was stable in his new life.

"I forgot everything about Korea until the Seoul Olympics in 1988. Around 1995, the Yoon Dong-ju Literature Community was coming to the Washington D.C. area. I went to a meeting out of curiosity but quickly realized how great he was."

A graduate of the Seoul National University college of education, Mr. Pyon was an English teacher when he was in Korea.

As for Yoon Dong-ju himself, he died at the age of 28 in a Tokyo jail cell, so he never got to see his works become famous around the world, but now in English they're accessible to more people than ever before.
Kim Do-yeon, Arirang News
Reporter : tkim@arirang.com
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