February 28, 2024
KCNA Voice of Korea (EN)

Ri Kyu Bo and His Long Epic "King Tongmyong"

Date: 29/11/2023 | Source: Voice of Korea (EN) | Read original version at source

Ri Kyu Bo is a famous poet of Koryo which existed between 918 and 1392.

From his childhood he was good at prose and poetry and so he was called a "wonder boy". He wrote many excellent works.

Typical of them is the long epic "King Tongmyong" which was created in 1193.

King Tongmyong is the founder-king of Koguryo which existed between 277 B.C. and A.D. 668. His name is Ju Mong.

The epic showed the process of building the country called Koguryo which was the most powerful country in the Korean history, expressing the love for the country and criticizing the corruption and incompetence of the feudal rulers.

Here is Doctor and Associate Professor Ri Song, Director of the National Classics Institute under the Academy of Social Sciences.

"The long epic consists of prologue, epilogue and two-part poem.

The first part of the poem deals with content about Ju Mong's father--Haemosu--and the second part with the building of Koguryo.

The poet praises the era of Koguryo which was prospering and developing."

Extolling King Tongmyong to the skies, the epic criticized the contemporary rulers who failed to firmly carry forward the soul of patriotism highly displayed by the Koguryo people.

It described the heroes by combining the epic and lyric delineation organically and the poet's expressions of romantic aspiration appropriately.

Ri Kyu Bo's long epic "King Tongmyong" is of some significance as it represented the patriotic feelings and the criticism of the contemporary reality.

Especially, it is a precious cultural heritage of great significance in the history of literature as it is the first long epic of those known so far in the history of the literature of poetry of Korea.

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