Chiha Kim’s real name is Yongil. Chiha is his pen name. He graduated from the department of Art at Seoul University in 1966. As a voice of the people and bard of the oppressed, Chiha not only holds a significant position in the sphere of literature, but in contemporary Korean modern history as well. He made his voice heard despite the government's efforts to silence him by imprisoning him in the 1970s and 1980s. He has championed the cause of a people oppressed under dictatorial regimes during the latter half of 20th century, relying on his poetic prowess as a weapon for his battles.
"The Ocher Road"
I follow you, father.
I follow you, father
When Opo Mountain brightens at night with fire,
Every ten years blood bubbles up in the wells.
In the long, hot summer
Across the slime in which old
Sensing your voice
Questions for Reflection: “The Ocher Road”
- What has happened to the poet’s father?
- Explain the poet’s emotion as he speaks of his father? React to the line “I follow you into the summer heat of guns and swords, with handcuffs on both wrists, where the searing sun burns away sweat, tears, and fields of rye.”
- What is being suggested when the poet states that “Every ten years blood bubbles up in the wells?”
- What role does memory play in the poet’s mind?
- How would you interpret the line “All the days and hope of my country were forced in the end onto the dusty yellow road?’’ What is the significance of the road in this poem?
- What is the hope in this poem?
- What are the lessons learned through the eyes of the poet?