Park Hijin (December 4, 1931 – March 31, 2015) was a South Korean poet.
Park Hijin was born in Gyeonggi province in Korea in 1931, during the period of Japanese colonial rule. In 1956 at the age of 25, three of his poems were recommended to the arts journal Literary Art (Munhak yesul), thus beginning his formal career as a poet. His love of literature, however, was apparent from a very young age. He recalls that when he was asked as a primary school student about his dream for the future, he answered unhesitatingly, "to become a writer." Due to the colonial circumstances of the time, he spoke and wrote in Japanese, and because his first encounters with literature were in Japanese, he was greatly interested in Japanese novels and poetry, especially the haiku.
Park attended Korea University where he majored in English, and worked as a teacher at Tongseong Junior High and High School. He was a member of the Sahwajip literary club in the 1960s, and also a member of the poetry reading club, Space.
Park, who has remained single his entire life, admitted in his own words, "I married poetry." He refrained from participation in writers' groups which often fell into the snares of political ideology, rather devoting himself to the perfecting of his poetic art. He has boasted that he "made real contributions to the literary coterie magazine movement in Korea," and also has great pride as the poet "who first truly experimented with the poetry recitation movement." Defining poets as those who are "insanely in love with words," he emphasizes that poets "must pour every ounce of their effort into language".
Park's literary world starkly contrasts heaven and earth and contradictions between light and darkness.
Following Korea's liberation from Japan, Park engrossed himself in writing poetry in his mother tongue. At first, his Korean was clumsy, but he strove to create his very own poetic world, drawing upon artistic trends from both inside and outside Korea. Majoring in English literature as a college student, Park was heavily influenced by Romantic poets like T.S. Eliot and W.B. Yeats; as well as Rainer Marie Wilke from Germany, and Paul Valery from France. Park says he also received great inspiration from traditionalist poets such as the renowned Seo Jeong-ju and Yu Chi-hwan, with whom he interacted, as well as Jo Ji-hun, Bak Mog-weol and Bak Du-jin, who wrote traditional nature poetry.
Park, unusually for modern Korean poets, has also written traveling poems, a result of this extensive travel to the United States and Europe.
Works in translation
- Himmelsnetz (박희진 시선)
- Sunrise over the east sea (박희진 시선)
Works in Korean (partial)
- Chamber Music (Shillae ak, 1960)
- The Bronze Age (Cheongdong shidae, 1965)
- Smiling Silence (Misohaneun chimmuk, 1970);
- Beneath the Seoul Sky (Seoul ui haneul arae, 1979)
- Three hundred and fourteen four-line poems (sahaeng shi sambaik shipsa pyeon, 1982)
- The Stream in My Heart (Gaseum sok ui shinaenmul, 1982)
- Dreams in Iowa (Aiowa eseo ggum e, 1985)
- Lovers in the Lilacs (Lailak sok ui yeonindeul, 1985)
- Poet, be a Prophet! (Shiina neoneun seonjija doera, 1985)
- The Song of Scattered Petals (Sanhwaga, 1988)
- The Azaleas of Bukhan Mountain (Buk’ansan ui jindallae, 1990)
- 300 four-line verses (Sahaeng shi sambaik su, 1991)
- The Buddha in the Lotus Blossom (Yeonggot sok ui bucheo nim, 1993)
- The Pines at Morundae (Morundae ui sonamu, 1995);
- Seven hundred one-line verses (Ilhaengshi chilbaeksu, 1997)
- A Hundred Views at a Hundred Temples (Baeksa baekgyeong, 1999)
- Spiritual Songs of the Hwarang (Hwarang Yeongga, 1999)
- Twenty Views from Tong River (Donggang yishipgyeong, 1999)
- Sky, Earth, Man (Haneul, ddang, salam, 2000)
- Bak Huijin's World Travel Poetry Collection (Bak Huijin segye gihaeng shijip, 2001)
- Four Hundred Four-line verses (Sahaengshi sabaiksu, 2002)
- Nine-hundred and sixty one-line verses and Seven hundred and thirty seventeen-word verses, and more (1 haeng shi 960 suwa 17 jashi 730su gita, 2003)
- Tamna Island as it Dreams (Ggum gguneun tamnaseom, 2004)
- Woltan Literary Award (1976)
- Prize of Modern Poetry (1988)
- Poetry Prize of the Korean Poets' Association