Korean literature and politics are entering a new phase.
From October 2016 through April 2017, a series of 23 rallies were held that demanded the resignation of Korean President Park Geun Hye. These massive protests drastically changed the political landscape of South Korea. In the face of millions of candle-lights held aloft by ordinary citizens, the former President Park was impeached, a democratically held election brought in a new government, and her accomplices continue to be arrested. The citizens not only regained sovereignty, with their own hands, but also righted the recently corrupted course of Korean democracy. Indeed, the entire world has been paying close attention to this revolution. This year, the 17 million Koreans who participated in the candlelight rallies garnered the World Citizen Award by the Atlantic Council and the German Human Rights Award by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stifting Office for Regional Cooperation in Asia. Beginning with this Candlelight Revolution, South Korea is writing an entirely new chapter in its history, leaving behind a past of corruption and abuse of power. Indeed, these rallies have become a major historical milestone that will undoubtedly influence not only the future of Korean life, but also worldwide civic movements.
The 10 poems showcased here, in English translation, were selected from the many poems written and recited throughout these candlelight rallies.
MC Byungwoong Ko, Heeju Yoo, Jay Kim
Korean cultural Service of Massachusetts( Koreanlit.com)
Korean International Student Association