Enchanted Evening with Sijo, Wine, and Arts at Andrew Bae Gallery
(Sejong Cultural Society event)

Wine & Korean Appetizers

April 10, 2010 (Saturday) 6 pm - 8 pm

Admission Fee - $30 per person (pay online)
(All proceeds go to Sejong Cultural Society)

Sijo Reading Event | About Sijo  | Sijo | David McCann  | Won J Park | Sung Joon Jin |
| Location | Direction | Pay online | Brochure |

Other sijo events: | Introduction to Sijo at Harold Washington Library | Sijo Workshop |


Sijo Reading

       Sijo Reading by David McCann and Won J. Park.

April 10 (Sat), 2010
6 pm - 8 pm
Andrew Bae gallery
300 W. Superior St. Chicago, IL

Sijo reading by Professor David McCann (Harvard University), Ellee Pai Hong (former NBC news anchor), and WonJung Park (Korean TV PD and host for the Cultural Walk). Enjoy wine, hors d'oeuvres, and paintings, photographs of Asian-American artists while listening to contemporary sijo written in English as well as classical sijo by Korean poets translated into English.

Andrew Bae Gallery
300 W. Superior St. Chicago, IL
(Corner of Franklin & Superior; entrance facing Franklin)
(312) 335-8601




About SIJO

Sijo (Korean Poetry)

"It seems to be the nature of mankind continually to try something new. That is
just as true in poetry as it is in other areas. During the past forty years
or so we have shown increasing interest in Asian verse patterns. The Middle
Eastern ghazal has its devoted followers in the West, and Japanese forms like
haiku, tanka, renga and haibun are now commonly found in small press and
commercial poetry periodicals. Journey through the Internet and you will see
these forms blossoming everywhere. We Westerners have fallen in love with
Asian patterns, patterns that connect us tenuously with ancient cultures so
different from our own.

So it is with the sijo (see-szo or she-szo, with the J pronounced as the
French pronounce Jacques). The roots of this lyrical Korean cousin of haiku
and tanka stretch back well over 1000 years. It has been the most popular
form of lyric verse in Korea for over 500 years, sung equally by Confucian
scholars, members of the royal court and common folk . . .

. . . .Remember the three characteristics that make the sijo unique -- its basic
structure, musical/rhythmic elements, and the twist. It is shorter and more
lyrical than the ghazal. It is more roomy than the haiku, and it welcomes
feelings and emotions which haiku either discourage or disguise. It should
please lovers of ballads, sonnets and lyrics, and the downplay of regular
meter and rhyme should appeal to writers of free verse. In short, it's a
fascinating challenge. Let us see your latest one."

~ Larry Gross, copy from his article on Sijo Primer #1


Korean Classical Sijo Translated
Where pure snow flakes melt
Dark clouds gather threatening
Where are the spring flowers abloom?
A lonely figure lost in the shadow
of sinking sun, I have no place to go.

- Yi Saek (1328–1395), on the decline of Goryeo Kingdom.


The spring breeze melted snow on the hills then quickly disappeared.
I wish I could borrow it briefly to blow over my hair
And melt away the aging frost forming now about my ears.

- U Tak (1262–1342)


동지달 기나긴 밤을 한 허리를 버혀 내여
춘풍 이불 아래 서리허리 넣었다가
어른 님 오신 날 밤이여드란 구비구비 펴리라
I will break the back of this long, midwinter night,
Folding it double, cold beneath my spring quilt,
That I may draw out the night, should my love return.

- Hwang Jin-i (1522–1565) A famous female Korean sijo poet who was also a kisaeng, a professional entertainer.


Sijo written in English


I’ll admit it isn’t your fault,
        I made you up from mind mist;
Before you could be you
        I made you what I thought I wanted.
That wasn’t it – who could have known?
        Wait – Maybe you could try this …

Bark on the oak in the backyard
             has scars over my scars;
ladder steps lead nowhere now,
            swing rope has furrowed the old branch
How strong it makes us for a while –
            the world we make – before it goes.

I bring him water in the field,
            stand to watch him plant the corn,
remembering all he learned from me,
            how to till, when to harvest;
Beyond that, to treasure land and God,
            knowing all things die.


slow piano piece drifting soft on humid summer air
high above a smooth ballet unfolds between white fluffy clouds
restless now I will myself to soar with notes and gulls

late summer days are soft with light and rich with floral scent
gentle breezes lift birdsong that serenade warm moments green
be still oh northern spirit – long frosty veils fall soon enough

Oh to know the languages
  of all the peoples of the world
Harmonies await the ear
  to solve all mysteries of tongues
Yet warm eyes open each closed door
  smiles unfold blithe messages



All through lunch, from my table, I keep an eye on your disputes,
Green lobsters in the bubbling tank by the restaurant door.
Slights, fights, bites—whatever the cause, make peace and flee, escape with me!

more sijo


David McCann

From the Boston Globe Interview article -

The new haiku?

Harvard professor David McCann says America is ready for sijo

"CAMBRIDGE - The class on writing Asian poetry that Professor David McCann teaches at Harvard includes units on Chinese quatrains, Korean sijo, and Japanese haiku, the last of which is so well-known that McCann’s students had haiku days in middle school. Why, McCann wondered, couldn’t the three-line Korean sijo that he loves enjoy the same widespread recognition as the three-line, 17-syllable haiku?

With that, McCann, a poet and professor of Korean literature, embarked on a mission. He is the founder and chief marketing officer of a campaign to popularize the sijo (pronounced SHEE-jo), a traditional poem of 43 to 45 syllables whose third line contains a twist on the theme developed in the first two.

This spring McCann hosted a sijo festival at Harvard - the first anywhere, he believes, to feature both Korean and English sijo. A sijo contest for middle and high school students which McCann judges attracted 450 entries from two dozen states this year, up from 160 in its 2008 inaugural year. Bo-Leaf Books just published McCann’s “Urban Temple: Sijo, Twisted & Straight,’’ one of the first anthologies of sijo written in English.

“Students who have a haiku day, when they grow up and see a Japanese novel, they’ll be interested,’’ McCann says. “There could also be a sijo day. Children might find sijo something they can try, then one day see a Korean novel translated and say, ‘I can read it.’ ..."
~ Boston Globe .... read full interview



Won J. Park

Won J Park

Won J. Park is the anchor and the producer of the Chicago's popular evening show, News Magazine on Ch.41 KBC-TV.

Park joined News Magazine in Feburary 2007. Before joining KBC-TV, Park anchored Radio News Programs and DJed music shows for radios including Radio Korea and Seoul Broadcasting.

Plus, Park is very active as MC in various national, international, and community events.

With music composition degree, Park is also highly active in Chicago's music scene as composer, conductor and jazz pianist.



JIN Sung Soo,, piri


Sijo recital will be accompanied by piri performances by Sung Soo Jin (진 성수).
He will also perform piri solo pieces.


Former KBS Traditional Music Orchestra Member
Performed at Lincoln Center
Performed at United Nations
Recorded Korean -Japan world cup opening ceremony music.
Recorded President Myung Bak Lee's inauguration ceremony music



Studying at American Conservatory of Music - Master of Music Conducting (M.M.)
Music Director - Yulwha Korean Traditional String Music Orchestra
Director - Korean Traditional Music Pop Orchestra "Yeo Min" .


About piri ...

The piri is a double reed instrument made of bamboo from Goguryeo era. Widely used in the traditional music,
it plays an active role in leading melodies in the traditional instrumental orchestra and traditional dance.



Location - Andrew Bae Gallery

Amdrew Bae Gallery
              Andrew Bae Gallery
     300 W. Superior Street, Chicago, IL

We thank you Andrew Bae Gallery
who is providing the event location.




Direction and Parking

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Street Parking is available on streets at the gallery.
Gallery is located at NW corner of W Superior St and N Franklin St.
Street Parking - Fee $2.50 per hour at street parking Pay Box.
(credit card payment accepted at Pay Box).




Pay online or Make a Reservation

Pay Online
(No ticket will be issued. Just give your name at the door)

Pay with a credit card or PayPal login -


Admission $30 (per person)


Or, Just make a reservation and pay at the door

Send an e-mail to sejong@sejongculturalsociety.org
Subject line: "Reservation - SIjo Reading "
Please include your name, phone number, address and number of people.


Event Brochure

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Sejong Cultural Society is 501(c) 3 non-profit organization created in the State of Illinois in August, 2004.
Contact: sejong@sejongculturalsociety.org

About Sejong Cultural Society