A poetry experience shared through not-so-difficult poem reading.
Oftentimes, numerous people find literature, specifically poetry, difficult. The poetic expressions, which can only be understood after they’ve been read on and digested several times, creates a distance from the reader. However, the saying “poetry is difficult” leans towards a misunderstanding.
Poems that are “difficult” are not the only ones that are considered as poetry. Poet Park Joon, writer of the anthology “I Made Your Name and Ate It for a Few Days”, said
“Poetry is honestly writing the feelings that I have”.
Poetry is a language that conveys my emotions; with this, we can all become poets. The letters and diaries we write can become poetry. In addition, we could easily find poetry in popular songs, television shows, and movies. We can also communicate with the emotions found in them, and sometimes we even feel comforted. Similarly, poetry is not “something difficult” but rather one that we can easily view in our daily lives. The Poem Reading Under the Moon Concert held last Saturday, September 23, at the Seoul Museum of Art, was a place that allowed citizens to approach poems at ease.
Since September 20, Seoul City has been carrying out a “Rooftop Festival with Share Companies and Organizations”. This is being held at a total of five places, including the Seoul Metropolitan Library, Seoul Museum of Art, Eunpyeong-Gu Sharing Center, Seun Sangga, and Seoul Start Up Hub, with nine share companies, and a sum of sixteen citizen-participating programs. In particular, Hummingb, a company that shares talent and experiences, hosted the Poem Reading Under the Moon Concert, as well as held its second event on the 23rd.
The Poem Reading Under the Moon Concert was led by Joyce Park, a professor of the liberal arts at the Incheon National University. With the subject of living together in a society, various English and Korean poetry, literary works, folktale, etc. were introduced. Poet Hwang Jong Kwon and Yeoju Elementary School Teacher Cassandra Westcott recited by taking turns, enriching the sentiment found in each piece.
In particular, the poems of various poets have been introduced at the concert, including romantic poet William Wordsworth, Dylan Thomas, and Hwang Tong-gyu. The way the world is faced in each poem is different for each poet and culture. Nonetheless, the sincere concerns and emotions of the society we are all in are alike. The citizens who participated in the concert also shared the same sentiments while reading the poems.
In particular, Hwang Tong-gyu’s poem, which talks about receiving hope by accepting the darkness, gave a deep sense of resonance to the citizens who participated in the concert.
In the middle of the poems being recited, the rooftop was filled with the performances of cellist Bae Bum Joon and jazz pianist Min Sae Jung. Akin to poetry recitals, jazz performances create an environment that makes it easier for citizens to approach poetry. In particular, the OST from “Howl’s Moving Castle” received a lot of cheers from the citizens who attended the concert.
Towards the end of the concert, a place for citizens to recite passages was also provided. One citizen came up to the podium and recited a verse from Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”. The rest of the citizens also stood up and recited a poem together. It was a moment when poetry, life, and citizens became connected.
The Poem Reading Under the Moon Concert on the 23rd was concluded with citizens exchanging their favorite poems with each other. According to Hummingb Team Manager Jung Kyung Soo, who supervised the concert, the Poem Reading Under the Moon Concert will be held three more times. All three concerts will be held in the Seoul Metropolitan Library, starting at 19:00 until around 20:20.
Whenever we mention shared culture, especially a sharing economy, it’s easy to think about it only in terms of specific products or services. However, talent and experiences can also be shared, and the value of which are endless. Poems, and the emotions found in each one, are also the same. Team Manger Jung Kyung Soo said the following:
“I hope that citizens will be able to participate in this opportunity to communicate their emotions, and to become comforted through poetry.”
Following his wish, we hope that more citizens will come closer to poetry, and have an opportunity to share poems together in the upcoming three concerts that will be held in October.