Sijo- Korean Literature

Topics: Poetry, Literature, Poetic form Pages: 3 (1073 words) Published: June 23, 2013
Introduction to Sijo

Korean literature is becoming popular in foreign lands. The globalization of Korean literature is good news to Korean poets and writers. Literature certainly has an important role to play in its portrayal of the relations between society and individual people, and it has a particularly vital social function in developing or underdeveloped countries. Korea has a proud and long-established literary tradition, but while it has produced many fine classical and contemporary works as well as its own unique form of poetry, the Sijo, which is a very interesting rare and unique type of poetry.

Sijo is a Korean poetic form. that was originally sung rather than read. It consists of three lines with an average of 14 to 16 syllables each also the three lines in some cases may be broken in half to create 6, in Sijo normally it introduces a situation or problem in the first line, development of the situation in the second line, and the third line resolves the problem or concludes the theme. During the first half of the final line the author employs what is called a “twist” which is a surprise of meaning, sound, or other device, Sijo often carries a more personal tone than other poetic forms, the Ending is often stylized with a profound observation or a finale. One of the earliest known Sijo is a 14th-century verse:

The spring breeze melted snow on the hills then quickly disappeared. I wish I could borrow it briefly to blow over my hair
And melt away the aging frost forming now about my ears.

History of sijo

Sijo derives from the old Hyangga songs of the Shilla empire (668-936) and the songs of the Koryo kingdom (918-1392). However, it wasn't until the conclusion of the latter era that Sijo came into its own, when Sijo appeared at the end of the late 14th century during the Koryo period, it was considered a truly unique literary form, and has remained popular to this day, one of the reasons it is unique is the fact that it was...
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