Home Literature A Poet’s Birthday Celebrated with Love Poems

A Poet’s Birthday Celebrated with Love Poems

A Poet’s Birthday Celebrated with Love Poems
Title of book 'Love Poems'

The book title was painting by Dr. Sangwha showing Ko Un’s hands, writing on a blank page against the sky

Ashraf Aboul Yazid

When Dr. Sangwha, professor, poet, translator and wife of my dear friend, the Korean iconic poet Ko Un, told me that they are going to publish an anthology to celebrate the 90th Birthday Anniversary of the great poet, I only called two friends to send their poems and share me in this Grand Event: Eldar Akhadov and Ana Stjelia.

Today, I got these photo attachments: my poem in Korean, Eldar’s poem in Korean, Ana Stjelia’s poem in Korean, the front book cover of the Anthology with the title ‘He is Beyond Our Longing’, which is 440-page long, with the contribution from 202 poets, artists, both home and abroad, and intellectuals and cultural people.

Love Poems
Love Poems

There were also the front book cover of my friend Sangwha’s love poems, dedicated to Ko Un as ‘a surprise’, the title is Joy with Ko Un. The book’s title and painting are hers (the title of her painting is Ko Un’s Hands. He is writing on a blank page against the sky).

The final cover is for volume of English Maninbo, published on Ko Un’s birthday to celebrate his ninety lives.

Anthology-KoreaThe celebration took place on July 26 with participation of some 200 poets, writers, artists, intellectuals, and cultural people from all parts of Korea

The celebration took place on July 26 in a huge Ecology School auditorium in YangPyeong, near Seoul, and some 200 people– poets and writers, artists, intellectuals, cultural people, gathered from all parts of Korea to celebrate Ko Un’s birthday. The place was decorated with many placards made with calligraphy and Ko Un’s photos, he gifted me two of his calligraphy of my name (Ashraf Aboul-Yazid) in English and Korean when we met this summer in Seoul, with my friends Lee Sang-ki and Lee Joo-heyong.

Anthology-Korea-2The ceremony and celebration lasted for about 5 hours with 2 Parts, with several congratulatory speeches, songs traditional and modern, including our national beautiful pop song ‘Senoya Senoya’ set to Ko Un’s lyrics. (There are 3 songs set to Ko Un’s beautiful, simple and deep lyrics, ‘Senoya Senoya’, ‘Autumn Letter’, ‘A Little Boat’, all much loved by Korean people.), playing the traditional instruments, dances, with wonderful Korean food and drinks, all through the evening.

The 440-page Anthology, containing poetry of 202 poets, with the title ‘He is Beyond Our Longing’, was also launched on this occasion.  

Anthology-Korea-1Ko Un made a brilliant, much-loved speech, this time concentrating on the ocean waves. At the end of the First Part with Ko Un’s speech, Dr. Sangwha went up onto the platform, as nobody knew nor expected, to dedicate her secret book of love poems which she had secretly prepared with the publisher for months to Ko Un, an utter surprise, and it was received with great cheers and much pleasure by the participants. Ko Un was really surprised!!!

Anthology-Korea-3Ko Un and Sangwha expressed their true and deep grateful to me, Ana, and Eldar, for our “great contribution to this beautiful huge Anthology. She wanted me to share her email with Ana and Eldar.

The concluding news is that Ko Un’s great grand epic of 1100-page long ‘Cheong'(Song of Sim Cheong) is going to be published early October, and 3 new poetry books will be out in the spring next year.

Sangwha Wrote: “We are all looking forward to seeing many more works will be continuously out year by year. It’s all thanks to all of your superb warm and loving hearts. For now, with our warmest regards, Sangwha, with palms joined.


Ashraf-Aboul-Yazid-Sindh-CourierAshraf Aboul-Yazid is an eminent poet, novelist, travelogue writer of Egypt who has authored over three dozen books. His poetry has been translated into over a dozen languages. He is Editor-in-Chief of Silk Road Literature Series.     


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