Both Walt Whitman and Ko Un share a similar vision of poetry and politics because both poets struggle through historical turmoil, try to sing for the common people living in shifting political climates, and finally forge a national epic of their people en-masse. In addition, both Whitman and Ko Un truly succeed in representing their ambitious poetic vision of a nation by actively engaging in the dialogues and discourses of their times. Thus, this paper illuminates how each poet defines the poet’s role, puts out the democratic principle of ‘the many in one’ and ‘one in the many’ and presents some memorable American and Korean characters as realistically as possible in Leaves of Grass and Ten Thousand Lives. Ultimately, this paper celebrates both poets as great monuments of democracy, each of whom will be remembered as representatives of the American and the Korean Sublime.
|Keywords:||Ko Un, Korean Grassroots, Ten Thousand Lives, Han and Jeong, Whitman, Democratic En-Masse, Leaves of Grass, National Bard|
Associate Professor, English Department, College of Humanities, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju, Gyeongnam, South Korea
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