[PineNews] ‘2019 International Peace Soccer Tournament’, Re-enactment of the 2002 World Cup Fever, Made more than 40,000 Viewers Ecstatic.

With the spirit of peace, heartwarming soccer games took place. 

<PineNews 14 May 2019> More than 300 local churches from the Youth Union of Korean Churches, part of Christian Gospel Mission (CGM), were gathered at Daejeon World Cup Stadium on 12 May to hold the 2019 International Peace Soccer Tournament. With the cheering from more than 40,000 CGM members, the atmosphere at Daejeon World Cup Stadium became even more vibrant than the 2002 World Cup. 

Around 200 international players from 14 countries, including Korea, Canada, Hongkong, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Vietnam, and more than 2,000 cheering supporters were present. The matches of the 2019 International Peace Soccer Tournament were played with ‘Peace’ as the motto and with a sincere hope of the complete termination of all wars in the world. A continuous presence of a thick cloud cover over the stadium provided radiative cooling throughout the day. 

The event began with a joint Sunday Service. It was followed by the opening ceremony, the semifinals, the finals, and the closing ceremony. During the Sunday Service, President Jung Myung Seok said, “The greatest blessing in human life is loving and serving God, brothers and sisters.”

During the opening ceremony of the 2019 International Peace Soccer Tournament, the Peace Cheering Group presented a performance that involved a large soccer ball with the words ‘Peace Soccer’ engraved. Leading on from that performance, large banners with drawings of an eagle and a cheetah each holding a soccer ball unfolded over the 2,000 performers.

President Jung said, “Peace soccer isn’t all about winning. It aims to promote the spirit of peace. Regardless whether you are in a team that has won or lost, let’s play peaceful matches with excitement.” He further mentioned, “Soccer isn’t just a sport. It is an artwork created by 11 players through harmonizing. I hope that today can be the day when you can show your skills to your fullest.”

After the preliminary rounds, the teams that qualified for the semi-finals were: Focus, Tiger, Cheetah, and Lion (Overseas Alliance Team). The teams performed thrilling matches. The final match was between Focus and Cheetah. Focus became the final victors from the breathtaking finals. A professional athlete from the Focus team who had been interviewed said, “With the spirit of faith in God, my team and I encouraged each other when playing the matches. I had a good time, having more fun than playing in a regular league game.” President Jung led and encouraged the tournament by playing with all the teams.

Without a doubt, the International Peace Soccer Tournament displayed the spirit of peace. During the matches, players lent their hands to the fallen opponents to help them get back on their feet. It was heartwarming to see how players encouraged other players who missed opportunities to score a goal by patting on their shoulders. The crowds also cheered for every single team. Whenever a goal was scored, everyone at the tournament became ecstatic and joyous.

A university student, Kim Heechan, mentioned, “It was awe-inspiring to see how people were in harmony through soccer regardless of their race, gender and culture.”  Yang Jeesoo, who attended the tournament as a member of the cheering squad, said, “it was very charming to see the cheering squad cheering for all of the teams and players contrary to the usual cheering squads, who cheer for their team, their country and their favourite players only. Also, it was very fascinating to see how the players played the matches with delight and enthusiasm.

One of the staff mentioned, “We hope the spirit of peace shown through the International Peace Soccer Tournament will spread to all over the world, so that there will be no more wars, fighting and hatred. Young people will work harder to fulfil the true peace on this earth. Please look forward to the International Peace Soccer Tournament, which will be held annually.” 

Original Article | Archive

[PineNews] Christian Gospel Mission ‘2019 Rock Gemstone Festival’ … A Great Success

“2019 Rock Gemstone Festival” picture of brass band performing as part of the opening ceremony

[PINENEWS, reported by Hong Hwayeon] The Rock Gemstone Festival was held during the autumn season. It aimed to provide healing and solace for people who are tired of their busy daily lives, and attracted visitors.  

Christian Gospel Mission (CGM, led by President Jung Myung Seok) held the 5th Rock Gemstone festival on 28 September 2019 at Wolmyeongdong Retreat Centre (aka. Wolmyeongdong). The festival lasted for 9 days, commencing with an opening ceremony, and ended on 6 October.

Wolmyeongdong is an attractive destination for both domestic and international tourists, due to its world-class stone landscape, ponds, giant waterfalls, grass lawns, dense pine forests and the top notch Korean mineral natural water. This place has been made known by people through word of mouth and the ‘Gemstone Rock Festival’ has become a global festival after its continuous development. 

Since 1990, President Jung Myung Seok and CGM members have been making the beautiful, majestic and amazing world-class rock landscape in Wolmyeongdong. As part of the Rock Gemstone Festival, a 360 degrees rock landscape, formed by around 2,000 beautiful and amazing rock masterpieces, was presented to the audience. 

Contrary to the weather forecast, the 28th of September, when the opening ceremony was held, had a deep clear autumn sky. Even though it was only the first day of the festival, more than 3,000 international tourists from Asia, including Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Hongkong and 5,000 visitors from Korea came. A line of small but charming stone towers, made up of two piled rocks each, greeted the visitors as they walked along both sides of the 100m long path from the entrance of Wolmyeongdong to the pond. 

The opening ceremony began with a friendly soccer match between Taiwan, Hongkong, Malaysia and Singapore. Later at 10am, the Sunrise Art troupe performed on the beautiful celebratory stage to the bright and humorous tunes of a 200-member brass band, receiving a big round of applause from the audience.

Visitors viewing the ornamental rock works at the Rock Gemstone Festival.

Jung Myung Seok, president of CGM, delivered the congratulatory speech and said, “There are masterpiece landscapes that are made by God’s design. Just like the inscription on the headstone (which reads), ‘designed by God, inspired by Holy Spirit, protected by Jesus Christ, and actions were taken by my disciples and I’, All the rock art works here in Wolmyeongdong are made and put up by God’s design. I hope all of you will enjoy your time here, and make unforgettable memories as you listen to the stories each rock gemstone has with God”. 

At this year’s festival, President Jung had put in efforts to plant 11 pine trees and adorn the rocks. One can see hundreds of giant pine trees and even a 350 years old ‘pine tree masterpiece’ bonsai. 

Visitors viewing the ornamental rock works at the Rock Gemstone festival.

The ‘1000 year Ornamental Rock Group’, consisting of domestic ornamental rock experts, is also having another exhibit. More than 100 pieces of rocks were exhibited, including 50 ornamental rocks that President Jung Myung Seok had found along the riversides through spiritual inspiration, and other rocks owned by the ‘1000 year Ornamental Rock Group’. Shapes and pictures that are carved on the stone by nature made the visitors speechless. The images of a human face, a woman, a smiling face, a bride, a mother, an eagle, a cheetah, a lion, a crane, and a palm tree immerse the viewers in nature’s amazing artistic touch.

The poem exhibition that was held during Gemstone Rock Festival.

The ‘poem exhibition’ that was held around the ambitious masterpiece rock landscape was also very popular among visitors.  

Park (alias) from Seoul who visited the festival stated, “It was delightful to observe the stonewall walkway on the way to Wolmyeongdong. I was amazed to see how small rocks were carefully balanced and piled up, as if they were all stuck together permanently. I had thought they were bonded together using glue.”

Visitors from Asia who attended Rock Gemstone Festival purchasing ginseng products from Geumsan Ginseng Festival.

Visitors who attended the Gemstone Rock Festival also attended the Geumsan Ginseng Festival that was being held nearby. 

The place where the Geumsan Ginseng Festival was held was bathed in yellow from shirts worn by visitors from Asia. International visitors and domestic visitors showed great interest towards ginseng, and crowded across the ginseng market and ginseng medicinal herb market streets.

The Governor of the Geumsan region, Mr Moon Jeongsoo, expressed his thankfulness towards the visitors by stating, “Geumsan is the home of Goryeo ginseng. Your interest towards Geumsan ginseng, which is one of the greatest foods for well-being with more than 1,500 years of history, is greatly appreciated”.  

Every year, more than 1.18 million people visit Wolmeongdong to see its beautiful scenery.

Original Article | Archived Original

Vietnam War Memoirs

Pastor Jung’s long-awaited memoir of the Vietnam War has finally been translated into english! With glowing testimonials from the Commander-in-Chief of the Korean Armed Forces in Vietnam General Chae Myung Shin, Pastor Jung’s Battalion Commander Colonel Lee Yeong Woo, Pastor Jung’s Platoon Leader Colonel Choi Hee-nam, the memoir is rooted in factual struggles of life and death on the battlefields of the Vietnam War that only those who have experienced it personally will understand fully. Pastor Jung’s personal experience reconciles the irreconciliable : a sincere faith in God that behooves believers to “love thy enemy” vs a cardinal need to kill the enemy to win the war and stay alive.

This is a compelling story of a young man from rural Korea who was conscripted to fight the Communists in Vietnam. Even amidst the suffering and cruelty, there must be a way to turn this war into a battle for love and peace. This story also shows why many people – young and old – follow Pastor Jung as a role model of faith in Providence.

Enjoy the read! (available on amazon.com)

An American’s Testimony of Pastor Jung Myung Seok

Shaun McMillan, a professional animator and game designer from the United States of America, shares a testimony of Pastor Jung Myung Seok, whom he calls teacher or “son saeng nim” in Korean.

Despite tribulations, why did Shaun believe in Pastor Jung’s teachings about the Trinity and why does Shaun continue to preach the word of Providence in his daily life?

Hear his heartfelt story.

Testimonies of Ordinary Members

Taiwan’s EB TV network featured the testimonies of ordinary members in CGM (Christian Gospel Mission).

Through the Word of God, numerous members testified of how they were transformed into unanticipated successes through the teachings and personal example of Pastor Jung Myung Seok.

Taiwan’s BC TV network featured the testimonies of ordinary members in CGM (Christian Gospel Mission).

Through the Word of God, numerous members testified of how they were transformed into unanticipated successes through the teachings and personal example of Pastor Jung Myung Seok:

An unassuming man from a humble village background, achieved the nation’s Outstanding Electrical Engineer of the Year award.

A boy who lived in poverty later became a management consultant in the nation’s coveted Taiwan 101 at the age of 21.

An indigenous Taiwanese scholar from the Luantian tribe who testifies about his participant observation of Providence and Pastor Jung Myung Seok.

A female doctor who was healed of a rare immunity disease that debilitated her, after the prayers and personal guidance of Pastor Jung.

These testimonies reveal the truth of God’s working through Pastor Jung’s life, and the untruths of malicious media portrayals on CGM and Pastor Jung that exist today:

#providence religious movement, #providence church korea, #providence 30 lessons #jung myung seok

CGM’s Peace Medical Corp in Action!

Christian Gospel Mission (Providence)’s Peace Medical Corp was established in 2005, focusing on the fundamental values of medical care, practicing Christ’s spirit of loving lives, and conveying love and peace through medical care all over the world.

In this featured video, CGM’s Peace Medical Corp reaches out to special needs children in Harmony Home. These children have severe development challenges, which prevents them from communicating in a normal way even as they grow up. Despite challenges to earn the trust of these children, through regularly visits and a display of love for them, the children have began to trust the medical volunteers and have shown significant improvement in their social abilities.

Even then, it is easy for medical volunteers to perform these acts because of obligation or simply as a routine. The volunteers breakthrough these keeping in mind the teachings of Pastor Jung Myung Seok, who has taught them that “The fundamental element of medical care is to love life. It is to restore the value of lives.” Therefore, the volunteers treat each life as a unique and irreplaceable person, and are reminded of the fundamental element of medical care that Pastor Jung Myung Seok has taught.

The featured video (to view the english translation, turn on subtitles on youtube):

[Headline News] Christian Gospel Mission President Jung Myung Seok endeavors to spread the real truth

 

[Headline News] Christian Gospel Mission President Jung Myung Seok endeavors to spread the real truth (Page 130, 131)

These days, Christianity in Korea is in need of a big paradigm shift like in the days of Copernicus in terms of the goals and direction the churches need to strive for, the Word given to them in the Bible and the responsibilities related to it, their sense for history, and the ability to discern between what is intrinsic and what is extrinsic. In this kind of situation, President Jung is attempting to present a new vision of Christianity that fits this time period.

Working during the day and studying at night, through the 30 years of his life of prayer, he received the Lord.

Normally people tend to consider what is concrete and visible as important, but intangible things can have tens or hundreds of times more importance than what is concrete. There are cases when something concrete and visible only gains meaning and displays its value when it gains an intangible quality, which exists invisibly. We have witnessed these cases over and over from biographies of saints and the philosophers of the world.

In order to actualize the gospel of Christianity on this earth, as a faithful worker or pastor, one does not need an academic degree, a title, or a fancy position.

Instead of these things, what one needs is the ability to take care of one’s flock of sheep better than anybody else, a more clear and precise understanding of the sheep’s pain, grief, and life joys and sorrows, time to spend with one’s sheep, and the ability to actualize an open heart of giving in one’s daily life. In terms of numbers, the size of christianity is grand to the point that you can see a cross–a sign of a church–every 10 blocks, but the doctrine of christianity is losing its light and is in a situation similar to the high priest Eli whom God left. At this time when people are wondering about truth, President Jung’s message that illuminates the truth in a new way is very convicting.

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Christian Gospel Mission President Jung Myung Seok

The ultimate reason religion exists is to lead human beings to a better way of living and teach people to embrace socially neglected classes of people so that all members of society can live happily. President Jung is a person who realized himself, in the process of learning about his life of faith, that religion should not be just a prodigious theory but a lifestyle, and he worked to actualize this realization in his daily life.

He said, “I met Jesus in person during my extreme life of prayer, and while serving and loving him like a lover, I received wisdom and the truth behind how to serve the Heavens and save lives. My one and only teacher is Jesus Christ, God, and the Holy Spirit. I came to understand the way to testify about the Trinity and realized the deep heart of the Heavens by loving and serving God and Jesus solely with the mentality and thoughts of God and Jesus.”

When he became 33 years old in January 1978, President Jung wrapped up his ascetic life in the mountains and came down. He compiled the original notes that he wrote down from the Word that he received from the Heavens and made 120 pages of charts for months. That year, at the end of May, he packed the notes and the charts, went to Seoul, and devoted his ministry to evangelizing youths.

“We can’t deny that history has been changing according to the times. If Christianity in Korea blindly obeys the doctrine, which has become a dogma to them, while focusing on mysticism and the simple and blind ritualism of asking for blessings, disregarding religious essential truth, it can easily approach the general public, but it will not be able to save thisgeneration, save human beings’ spirits, nor help people take action upon the Will of God. In order to understand the Bible correctly, we have to interpret the parables in the Bible correctly. Once the parables are interpreted correctly, the secrets of the Heavens and the purpose of God’s creation, and furthermore, the purpose of life can be understood. Christian churches view the Bible with an incorrect perception. They interpret the Bible in a singular and literal way, being bound to its doctrine without considering the pertaining time period or science. That’s why they cannot properly interpret the Bible, which was written with symbols and parables,” Jung said.

Through his sermons, he quenches the spiritual thirst of the young generation.

“God is not the one who is confined within the frame of religion. He is the god of religion, the god of science, the god of philosophy, the god of literacy, and the god of art. He is the god of everything. That is why the true truth has to make sense not only religiously but also scientifically and philosophically,” he explained.

Within the short time period of 25 years, the Christian Gospel Mission has grown rapidly into a ministry organization where 200,000 young people have gathered, and they have currently spread the gospel to 50 nations. The Mission said that the deciding factor of their achievements thus far is President Jung’s open view of religion and the world. Its success hinged on this point.

“Jesus took care of the sick and the poor. Healing the sick and looking after the poor was originally my job and mission. This work always has to be done with a thankful, grateful, and joyful heart. What I mean is that I did not suffer from doing it. It was my duty. Even in the future, I will keep taking care of the sick and those who are hurt. This is the mission I have during this time,” President Jung said.

He keeps the absolute commision, “While we are alive, we should make Heaven on earth” and takes it beyond the logic of salvation, which is, “Let’s believe God and go to Heaven after death.”

During his ascetic life, he went through so many situations and difficulties. During the process, he heard voices from the Heavens, received inspirations and word related to life, and realized many things personally, and he has been spreading the gospel and leaving it etched in history through his writings and drawings.

At a big evangelism rally, a publication party for The Book of Salvation, which President Jung wrote while he was abroad, was held at the Wolmyeongdong retreat center on May 29. The essence of salvation is broken down in the book for readers to understand easily. Some reviews stated that the book was so fun to read while touching on profound truths that once the readers started to read, they couldn’t let go of the book.

Even though he has never received professional art education, with the inspiration that he has received from the Heavens and the talent that he was born with, his art pieces transcend existing styles of art. You can see examples of his paintings displayed at the Gusang Art Gallery in Wolmyeongdong. He is also active in creating cultural exchanges as a chairman of the Global Peace and Cultural Union.

A painting that President Jung drew

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Fate (September 1998, Painted on a 97cm x 130cm canvas made from Korean paper)

This painting was drawn when Jung received an inspiration that brushed by his mind. The allegorical expressions relayed skillfully by the power of a brush stroke contains powerful messages. A snail is trying to climb up a cliff in the painting. He falls from the cliff but does not give up and climbs up again, and when he falls again, he climbs up again. After several attempts, he barely makes it to the peak and shouts, “Ah! I’ve finally made it.” However, just as he was about to take a rest, a stork walks up to him from behind and says, “Jackpot!” and goes to peck at him to eat him. This painting depicts the moment that determines the snail’s destiny.

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Eyes that look for the righteous (September 1998, Painted on a 97cm x 1.30cm canvas made from Korean paper)

The painter depicted the image of God’s face with clouds in the sky, and conveyed the feeling within God’s eyes, which show that he is searching with fiery eyes for the righteous to see if there is even one righteous man in the world. The background is drawn symbolically: from the right to the left, you can see Namdaemun*, the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, chimneys of factories, the Trade Center, the 63 building, the Twin Towers, a sun village* where wealthy people live, and a moon village* and a milky way village* where poor people live, which are located on the very top of a mountain and the closest to the sky. Also, in front of Namdaemun*, there are people who are worshiping idols before steles. The idol worshiper who is dark and has a tail is a monkey, which conveys the idea that idol worshippers are inferior than animals. It is the eyes of God, the Divine Being, who is anxiously looking for the righteous in the world.

(Translator’s note:

* In Korean, “sun village” is a name that is used to define an area where wealthy people live, and “moon village” and “milky way village” are names that are used to define an area where poor people live. Usually, moon and milky way villages are located high up on mountains since the price of those areas are cheap.

* Namdaemun is the Southern Great Gate of Seoul.)


Headline News June 2005 Pg 130, 131 Original Article | Translated

[News Wave] Poet Jung Myung Seok officially chosen as a poet in Korea’s 100 years of poetry

Introduced in ‘The Encyclopedia of Korean Poetry’, page 2717

‘Poet Jung Myung Seok is someone who has opened his eyes to the mysterious and profound wonders of the world created by the Creator. He discovered the law of creation, which states that nature is like human beings, and human beings are like God. In his poems, he ties together and connects a variety of difficult concepts [within this theme]. Then he gains the power to embrace both heaven and earth. He pursues an ideal world and at the same time, reveals [in his poem] his strong will to maintain his optimism and endure his difficult life.

Along with 3500 others, President Jung Myung Seok of Christian Gospel Mission is a believer of God who lives only for the sake of saving lives, and was recently recorded in a larger, revised edition of ‘The Encyclopedia of Korean Poetry,’ which represents 100 years of the history of poetry in Korea (1908 ~ 2010).

The book made the evaluation that Poet Jung views the essence of nature from the perspective of the Creator’s law of creation. He was also described as someone who binds the love of Heaven and Earth through his world of poetry.

Especially through the following appraisal [of Jung], it was acknowledged that he has penetrated both the world of God and the world of reality: ‘His sincere world of poetry expresses a love of praising Heaven and love of embracing the broken Earth. His literature creates hope and harmony for modern people whose lives lack a balance between reality and ideals.’

Poet Jung’s name was recorded on page 2717 of The Encyclopedia of Korean Poetry, published last March.

Jung Myung Seok in Korea Poetry Dictionary.png
Page 2717 of The Encyclopedia of Korean Poetry

In this book, Jung was introduced as a poet and ten of his poems were introduced, such as ‘Narrow mind,’ ‘Life,’ ‘Our love,’ ‘Movement of the cloud,’ ‘Never-changing heart,’ ‘Hope,’ as well as others.

In his poem ‘Hope’, he sings of true happiness and hope that is gained only by someone who has overcome difficulties and has been trained in perseverance.  He also reveals the deep truth of life and initiates deep thoughts within the reader.

Happiness goes/even in a blizzard /life winter// Happiness goes/in the thorny field/even in a bone-aching life/of hardship and difficulty//Happiness/doesn’t want to give herself to anyone/she takes the painful road/that creates struggle//Hope too/doesn’t want to live with anyone/it looks for and goes to one/who endures and perseveres//

Poet Jung Myeong-seok’s book, ‘Spiritual Poem’, became a best seller in 1989. He officially became a poet through ‘the Munyesajo (Literary Movements and Trends) Writers Association’ in 1995, and had the spotlight shone on him in the world of Korean poetry and literature.

Since then, Poet Jung has never slackened in his writing of poetry as he releases between three to five poems every month. He has now released around 3,000 poems. He has written around 30,000 proverbs of wisdom that he received through his life of faith and, among them, 6,000 proverbs were published in six books (Heaven’s Words, My Words).

The large, revised version of ‘The Encyclopedia of Korean Poetry’ shows 100 years of the history of Korean poetry at a glance. It includes all the poets [of the 100 years], from the early poets in the history of Korean poets (Choi Nam-seon, Lee Yuk-sa, Lee Sang-wha, Jung Ji-yong), to the most recent poets (Jung Hyun-jong, Cheon Yang-hee, Hwang Dong-gyu). [The book includes poetry from] poets who have deceased, poets who were lost due to being kidnapped to North Korea or defecting to North Korea, and poets who are still alive.

Article published on Newswave, 7 June 2006 Original | Archived

2013 Seoul Literature Award: Poet Jung Myung Seok

Seoul Literature Publications

Report No. 305-2014-0000036

2013 Seoul Literature Award Winner: Poet Jung Myung Seok

Jung Myung Seok 2013 Most Beautiful Person Seoul Literature Prize Winner.jpg

Poet Jung Myung Seok has never given up his life of composition, even in his current most inadequate environment, but has sublimated his misfortunes into happiness by challenging himself endlessly with hope. That is why the board committee of The Most Beautiful People of 2013 from Seoul Education Broadcasting highly appraised his passionate creative writing activities and nominated poet 1178 Jung Myung Seok as The Most Beautiful Person of 2013. His heart for life beats and surges like a wave throughout his compositions and within the merit of his missionary works.

The Selection Committee of The Most Beautiful Person of 2013

How he was nominated: This year poet Jung Myung Seok published two volumes of the series, Poems of Inspiration– The Woman of Poetry and Speaking Through Poetry. Since he has a wide circle of readers, both of his books made records as weekly bestseller at Kyobo Book Centre. Despite being imprisoned currently in Daejeon prison, we found that his fervor for literary creative writing has transcended his confinement; he has been writing almost as many pages as one book every week.

There are many people who have different views towards Jung. However, from a literary point of view, the diction Jung uses in his poems is unique, and at this time when poetry is already being considered a dead literary genre, Jung has engrossed himself in only writing poetry instead of essays or novels and has written thousands of poems thus far. Among those poems, he selected some of his works and published them into two books. In the future, we hope that more budding poets will be born from many other places so that poetry will resurrect again from its current state of depression in Korean literature. With that anticipation, we have nominated poet Jung Myung Seok as The Most Beautiful Person in 2013.

Furthermore, Jung has established a very special theory on psychoanalysis. In contrast to Carl Jung’s theory of dream interpretation, he has proven the reality of dreams empirically. His theory is known as the soul entity theory, which uses psychoanalysis to interpret the way dreams reflect reality. Although dreams reflecting reality is already widespread, his theory of psychoanalysis is revolutionary. In his theory, dreams are the reality of the soul entity; just as we have a physical body in the physical plane, the soul entity of the brain surely exists.

Who is poet Jung Myung Seok?

Who is poet Jung Myung Seok? He was born in 1945, the year of the rooster. At that time, Korea was under Japanese colonial rule. Around the time when Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin were making an agreement on the 38th parallel at Yalta on the coast of the Black Sea in the Soviet Union on February 4, 1945, a boy was born in Wolmyeongdong (Dalbar-gol), Seokmak-ri, Jinsan-myeon, Chungcheongnam-do, South Korea. At that time, the district was not called Chungcheong Province but Jeolla Province. Poet Jung Myung Seok was the third son of Jung Pal Seong.

What kind of hope was there during the colonial period? Even at birth, Jung faced death. Because of his lack of immunity as a baby, he stopped breathing due to a certain disease. His mother-in-law kept nagging his mother to bury him quickly because it was an ominous sign, but his mother felt sorry for him. When she looked at her baby’s face, thinking that would be the final time she would ever see him, at that moment, he suddenly opened his eyes.

“Since he is still alive, let me have him for one more night…”

During that time, he had become unresponsive. His mother thought he had died after suffering from his high fever, so she laid him down at the corner of the room and covered him with a cloth. His mother was waiting for night to come so that she could try burying him discreetly at the back mountain. She wanted to see her son for the last time, the one whom she had given birth to with labor pains after 10 months, so she peered through the blanket. At that moment, he suddenly opened his eyes again. He wasn’t even crying. Jung spent three days like that. This miracle happened as his swelling subsided. That’s why his mom named him Myung* Seok because he seemed to have many lives. This is the childhood story of poet Jung Myung Seok.

(Translator’s note: Myung(命) is a Chinese character and means a life. However, later he changed his name to Myung(明), which means bright.)

Could the reason all his poetry is directly connected to life perhaps be because of what had happened in his childhood? Since he had experienced death at such a young age, during his adolescence, he often pondered deeply in solitude about life. Later on, while serving in the Vietnam War, he realized the value of life, the futility of life, and the fundamental world of God through first-hand experiences. He was able to live because of his mother’s love, which had compelled her to peer through the blanket to see her son’s face one last time, and so his affinity towards lives also stems from love.

The reason Jung’s poems are so good lies within their earnestness. His unquenchable earnestness towards what he is yearning for is carved deep into his poems like markings. When you see a flower, you can know about it by its fragrance. In the same way, all his poems give off a certain fragrance. Vol. 3 of his Poems of Inspiration titled, The Woman of Poetry, contained truly beautiful pieces. In order to understand the poet Jung Myung Seok, just as a work of art tells something about its author, reading his poetry yourself is the fastest and the most genuine way to get to know him.

Within Korean literary circles, there is a history book of literature known as The Encyclopedia of Korean Poetry. Poet Jung is officially registered in the 2011 edition of The Encyclopedia of Korean Poetry. On page 2717, readers can learn about him in a more detailed and genuine way. The fact that he is on page 2717 goes to show that The Encyclopedia of Korean Poetry is a very thick history book of literature. It presents 100 years of Korean poetry history.

The Encyclopedia of Korean Poetry was published by EJP Books, and Jung is in the 2011 edition. This book includes poems written by 3,500 poets who represent the history of Korean poetry from 1908 to 2010. The encyclopedia showcases ten of Jung’s poems; some of which include The Terrain of the Heart, Life, Good and Evil, Our Love, Operation, A Never-changing Heart, and Hope.

When you read his poem called Happiness is on Its Way, you can see how he depicts a deep aspect of life with simple yet meaningful diction.

Happiness is on Its Way (Full-version)

In life’s winter, where blizzards blow, there Happiness goes,

Even in a bone-aching life of anguish and suffering,

Happiness still goes on that thorny road.

Not permitting itself to just anyone,

It heads toward the path of pain, of man’s struggle.

Hope, also, not wishing to live with just anyone;

Seeking the one who endures, it goes.

Happiness and hope are surely abstract nouns. We cannot touch them and they don’t have specific forms. However, poet Jung describes happiness and hope as entities that exist and that are living. Happiness and hope are not abstract to Jung. He personifies them as entities that have a specific form. We wonder, how earnestly did he want happiness and hope to the point that he would portray their looks with such diction? When we look at his style of speech, the way he connects the verb, seeking, to the abstract nouns, we catch a glimpse of his bold transcendence of the existing grammatical rules in poetry. Of course, modern poetry is also highly influenced by free verse, so it is not bound by grammatic structure either.

Once again, we’d like to ask, who is poet Jung Myung Seok? Hearing from Jung directly about who he is would be the most genuine approach. However, written words are an expression of one’s heart. An art piece reflects the thoughts of its author, and an author speaks through his work. Likewise, Jung speaks directly through his work, one being The Woman of Poetry. What more words are needed? Who knows? During the times of our deepest despair, perhaps you will also be able to draw hope like finding an oasis in a desert through the words of his poetry.

Original | Archived | Translated


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