Ko Un

Ko Un

Korean Name
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Ko Un

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Ko Un (born on 1 August or 11 April 1933) is a South Korean poet. His works have been translated and published in more than 15 countries and he has been imprisoned many times. Un is often considered a likely winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature,. The Korea Herald. 7 October 2010. "The local media and literary circles are expressing hope again about the possibility that Korean poet Ko Un might receive...". The Korea Herald. 7 October 2010.Moon So-young and Lee Sun-min "Noble Hopes Dashed for Ko Un," JoongAng Daily October 9, 2010.


Ko was born Ko Untae in Gunsan, North Jeolla Province in 1933. He was at Gunsan Middle School when war broke out.

The Korean War emotionally and physically traumatized Ko and caused the death of many of his relatives and friends. Ko's hearing suffered from acid that he poured into his ears during an acute crisis in this time and it was further harmed by a police beating in 1979. In 1952, before the war had ended, Ko became a Buddhist monk. After a decade of monastic life, he chose to return to the active, secular world in 1962 to become a devoted poet. From 1963 to 1966 he lived on Jejudo, where he set up a charity school, and then moved back to Seoul. His life was not calm in...
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