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LIT/FLIX: Celebrating Literature in K-dramas and K-Movies

For the whole month of April, we unlocked the power of literature by sharing poetry and prose featured in k-dramas and k-movies.

GwenchaNoona Picks | LIT/FLIX: Lit in K-dramas & K-movies (photos, poetry, and prose "Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha" with Kim Seon-ho, "Goblin" with Gong Yoo and Kim Go-eun, "Extraordinary Attorney Woo" with Park Eun-bin, and "Burning" with Yoo Ah-in)

Famous contemporary Korean poet Na Tae-joo (나태주) (b. 1945) started his writing career in 1971. He was working as an elementary school teacher then and continued teaching for more than 40 years. In an interview, he describes poets as “emotional service men who ease the world’s pain and depression.”


Encounter (2018)

GwenchaNoona | LIT/FLIX Featured as the main lead's favorite poem in the k-drama "Encounter" (2018) (Photo of Park Bo-gum)  LONGING I'm being told not to go, but there's a road I wish to take. While being told not to meet, there's someone I wish to meet. If you tell me not to, it makes me want to do it even more.  That's life and longing. It's you.  - Na Tae-joo

Because This Is My First Life (2017)

GwenchaNoona | LIT/FLIX Poem featured in the k-drama "Because This Is My First Life" (2017) (Photo of Lee Min-ki and Jung So-min)  A VISITOR Meeting someone in life is something that's actually astonishing. That's because he brings himself  with his past, present, and his future. That's because someone's  whole life comes along. The heart is fragile. Therefore, it might have been broken. The heart is coming, too…  -Jeong Hyeonjong (2019)

A Poem a Day (2018)

GwenchaNoona | LIT/FLIX Featured in the k-drama "A Poem a Day" (2018) (Photo of Lee Joon-hyuk and Lee Yu-bi)  HAPPINESS It's not about where we were yesterday… And it's not about where we'll be tomorrow. It's just about where we are today. And, you. -Na Tae-joo

A Bittersweet Life (2005)

GwenchaNoona | LIT/FLIX Read at the end of the film "A Bittersweet Life" (2005) (photo of Lee Byung-hun)  A ZEN KOAN One late autumn night, the disciple awoke crying. So the master asked the disciple, "Did you have a nightmare?" "No." "Did you have a sad dream?" "No," said the disciple. "I had a sweet dream." "Then why are you crying so sadly?" The disciple wiped his tears away and quietly answered,  "Because the dream I had can't come true."

Poetry (2010)

GwenchaNoona | LIT/FLIX Read at the end of the film "Poetry" (2010) (photo of Yun Jung-hee)  AGNES SONG How is it over there? How lonely is it? Is it still glowing red at sunset? Are the birds still singing on the way  to the forest? Can you receive the letter  I dared not send? Can I convey…  the confession I dared not make?  -by dir. Lee Chang-dong

Hotel del Luna (2019)

GwenchaNoona | LIT/FLIX The book was shown twice in "Hotel del Luna" (2019) and was referenced throughout the drama (photo of Lee Ji-eun/IU)  "Everyone is the other And no one is himself." -Martin Heidegger, "Being and Time"

When My Love Blooms (2020)

GwenchaNoona | LIT/FLIX  Read in the k-drama "When My Love Blooms" (2020)  (photo of Yoo Ji-tae and Lee Bo-young)   CLOSER TO YOU 2  I keep standing on my toes.  Yet I still do not see you.  At times when the waiting grows longer  I cannot help but resent you  Cirrus clouds float through the dark skies  What song shall I have to song  In order for it to reach your ears?  We never met, so we shall never part  Yet we cannot hold hands, though we never parted.  So as the waiting grows longer  I cannot help but resent you more.   - Lee Song-bok

Goblin (2016)

GwenchaNoona | LIT/FLIX Featured in the k-drama "Goblin" (2016) (photo of Gong Yoo and Kim Go-eun)  PHYSICS OF LOVE 사랑의 물리학  Mass is not proportional to volume  A girl as small as a violet A girl who moves like a flower's petal She attracts me with a force greater than her mass Now, I am like Newton's apple Rolled and fell toward her unstoppably With a thump, a thump  My heart Keeps bouncing between the sky and the ground It was my first love  - Kim In-yook

Itaewon Class (2020)

GwenchaNoona | LIT/FLIX Written for and narrated in the k-drama "Itawon Class" (2020) (photo of Kim Joo-young)  I'm a rock Go ahead and sear me I won't budge an inch Because I'm a rock Go ahead and beat me up I'm a solid rock Go ahead and leave me in darkness I'm a rock that will shine all alone I don't break, turn to ash, nor decay As I go against nature's way  I survive. I'm a diamond.  -Gwang Jin

School 2013 (2012)

School 2013 (2012) GwenchaNoona | LIT/FLIX Lines read in the k-drama "School 2013" (photo of Lee Jong-suk)  WILDFLOWER  You have to look closely  to see that it is pretty You have to look for a long time to see that it is lovely You, too, are the same.  -Na Tae-joo

When the Weather Is Fine (2020)

GwenchaNoona | LIT/FLIX Read in the k-drama "When the Weather Is Fine" (photo of Park Min-young)  A DRINK  Life has never bought me a drink. On many winter nights at a snack stall in a dead-end alley. I emptied out my pockets… to buy life a drink. But life has never bought me a single drink. Whether it was a snowy day Or a day when stone lotus flowers silently bloomed and fell.  -Jung Ho-seong

A Poem a Day (2018)

GwenchaNoona | LIT/FLIX Read in the k-drama "A Poem a Day" (2018) (photo of Lee Yoo-bi)  IT'S OKAY IF YOU DON'T LOVE ME  It's okay if you don't acknowledge me. A new leaf will sprout, even under the cold rain and the stars will come out, even if the clouds cover it. It's okay if you don't offer me a hand. I blazed up like a dry leaf  as someone who couldn't say a word. I'm okay with being in one-sided love, and then becoming love myself. My love, it's okay if you don't love me.  -Lee Jung-ha

When the Weather Is Fine (2020)

GwenchaNoona | LIT/FLIX Read in the k-drama "When the Weather Is Fine" (2020) (photo of Seo Kang-joon)  TO THE DAFFODIL '수선화에게'  Don't cry. To be lonely is to be human. To live is to endure loneliness. Don't wait for a call that never comes.  When it snows, you walk on a snowy road, When it rains, you walk down a rainy path. The black-chested sandpiper in the reed field is watching you. Sometimes even a deity cries from loneliness.  Birds sit on branches because they're lonely. The mountain shadow comes down to the village once a day  because it is lonely.  The peal of bells rings out because it too is lonely.  -Jung Ho-seong

Romance Is a Bonus Book (2018)

GwenchaNoona | LIT/FLIX Read in the k-drama "Romance Is a Bonus Book" (2018) (photo of Lee Na-young and Lee Jong-suk)  THE HEART IS DRAWN TO YOU  But suddenly, the wind blow again from  somewhere. The sound of the sandstorm reaches the branches up high. And with that, my heart flutters. That means I miss someone I left behind. The desire to love someone again is making my heart throb. Dream. And yearn. Love deeply and lastingly. We sleep, rest, and dwell in our momentary joy to recharge ourselves. So that we can return to the world full of pain, so that we can have new dreams. Yearn for new things, and love once again deeply and lastingly.  -Na Tae-joo

I'm Not a Robot (2018)

GwenchaNoona | LIT/FLIX The book was read by the male lead in the k-drama "I'm Not a Robot" (2018) (photo of Chae Soo-bin)  "When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."  -from 'The Velveteen Rabbit" by Margery Williams Bianco

The King: Eternal Monarch (2020)

GwenchaNoona | LIT/FLIX Read in the k-drama "The King: Eternal Monarch" (2020) (photo of Kim Go-eun and Lee Min-ho)  BY THE STREAM  What is your reason for doing that? You were sitting along by the stream The green grass was sprouting And the water was splashing from the spring breeze You promised that even if you go You won't be gone forever That is what you promised I sit by the stream each day I think about it endlessly  When you promised that even if you go You won't be gone forever, Were you asking me not to forget you?  -Kim So-wol

Let's Eat 3 (2018)

GwenchaNoona | LIT/FLIX Read in the k-drama "Let's Eat 3" (2018)  RICE  To you, who eats because of the loneliness To you, who sleeps because of the weariness To you, who cries because of the sadness, I write Chew on your difficult situation as you would your rice As life is something that you need to digest anyway  -Chun Yang-hee

A Poem a Day (2018)

GwenchaNoona | LIT/FLIX Read in the k-drama "A Poem a Day" (2018) (photo of Lee Yoo-bi)  FIRST MEETING  I'm very thankful to you Who treated me like a flower When life was the coldest. I was stepped on a lot And never got any attention on this journey By meeting you, I met a new me. I'm very thankful to you Who treated me like a flower.

Let's Eat 3 (2018)

GwenchaNoona | LIT/FLIX Read in the k-drama "Let's Eat 3" (2018)  THE NAME I WANT TO CALL SECRETLY  The name I want to call out secretly is a wonderfully joyous thing. The person I want to think about secretly is a joyous thing although it's sad. I fall asleep thinking about  a person secretly and wake up thinking about him by myself. Having such a person is a joyous thing although it's lonely.  -Na Tae-joo

Chicago Typewriter (2017)

GwenchaNoona | LIT/FLIX (photo of Yoo Ah-in)  "Ignorance is nothing to be proud of. If you have time for fistfights, try to buy some books." -Han Je-su, "Chicago Typewriter" (2017)

My Absolute Boyfriend (2019)

GwenchaNoona | LIT/FLIX  The short story was referenced heavily in the k-drama "My Absolute Boyfriend" (2019). (photo of Bang Min-ah and Yeo Jin-goo)  "When I was alive and had a human heart, I did not know what tears were... where sorrow is not allowed to enter."  -From Oscar Wilde's "The Happy Prince"

Because This Is My First Life (2018)

GwenchaNoona | LIT/FLIX  Lines read in "Because This Is My First Life" (2018) (photo of Jung So-min)  Words are born from people's  Mound and die in their ears.  But some words never die.  Instead, they go into people's hearts and survive.

What's Wrong with Secretary Kim (2018)

GwenchaNoona | LIT/FLIX Featured in the k-drama "What's Wrong with Secretary Kim" (2018) (photo of Park Seo-joon and Park Min-young)  EVERY MOMENT WAS YOU  My every moment was you. When I loved, and also when I was in pain.  Even at our moment of farewell,  you were the whole world to me  and every moment was you. Without you, I don't think I can explain the story of my life so far.  -Ha Tae-wan

A Poem a Day (2018)

GwenchaNoona | LIT/FLIX Read in the k-drama "A Poem a Day" (2018)  A FRESH START  I untangled the twisted knot. I also took out the thorn. Without lingering attachment or regret I straightened out my position. I let the twisted relationships go. With a lighthearted feeling and a  confident mindset I erased yesterday with the hope of a Better tomorrow.  -Oh Bo-young

Burning (2018)

GwenchaNoona | LIT/FLIX From Haruki Murakami's "An Elephant Vanishes", which the movie "Burning" (2018) is based on (photo of Yoo Ah-in, Jeon Jong-seo, and Steven Yeun)  "You burn barns. I don't burn barns. There's this glaring difference, and to me, rather than say which of us is strange, first of all I'd like to clear up just what that difference is."

A Poem a Day (2018)

GwenchaNoona | LIT/FLIX Read in the k-drama "A Poem a Day" (2018)  US  You're spring and I'm the flowers. That's why I can't even see the cherry blossoms.  I'm spring and you're the flowers. That's why you're all that I can see. We're the flower fields and we're spring.  -Lee Ji-hyun

Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha (2021)

GwenchaNoona | LIT/FLIX A poem from Kim Haeng-sook's "A Portrait of Echoes" read by Hong Du-sik (Kim Seon-ho), stopping at the word "love", to Yoon Hye-jin (Shin Min-ah) in "Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha" (2021)  (photo of Kim Seon-ho and Shin Min-ah)  DOORKEEPER  It's my job to say, "You shouldn't do this here." It's my job to deny your purpose. It's my job to deny you the next day. It's my job to wait for you the next day to deny you. My job is to wait for you the next day and fall in love with you. Thus, denying my love… [is my job.  I will not cry because of my vocation, he wrote. I cried sometimes when I wrote a diary.]

Alchemy of Souls Part 1 (2022)

GwenchaNoona | LIT/FLIX Seo Gyeong's love letter to Jin Seol-ran ("orchid that blooms in the white snow") from "Alchemy of Souls" Episode 10 (photo of Lee Jae-wook and Jung So-min)  WORDS OF THE HEART  You cannot grasp water, but it is inside the soil.  You cannot touch fire, but it is inside the tree.  You cannot hold the wind, but it is resting on the rock.  If you let them be, they will exist everywhere.  The faint, blue light makes me sigh.  My white breath turned into snow and tears.  I could not let them drop and hid them.  Despite knowing that they will fill up once again,  I am a fool who dares not shed a single tear.

Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha (2021)

GwenchaNoona | LIT/FLIX An excerpt from the poem read by Hong Du-sik (Kim Seon-ho) in "Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha" (2021) (photo of Kim Seon-ho)  KISS (키스)   The first kiss is the taste of mud and sunlight and roses…  -Jang Seok-ju, 헤어진 사람의 품에 얼굴을 묻고 울었다 (Literal translation: "I Buried My Face in the Arms of the Person I Parted with and I Cried")

Extraordinary Attorney Woo (2022)

GwenchaNoona | LIT/FLIX Excerpt from a poem read by Atty. Ryu Jae-sook (Lee Bong-ryun), "Extraordinary Attorney Woo" (2022) (photo of Park Eun-bin)  Though there are many sayings,  life is to gladly become  a piece of coal for someone  other than myself.   Because I feared becoming  a lonely lump of ashes  after loving others  with my whole being,  I haven’t become coal for anyone.   When I think about it, life is  to shatter myself to pieces.

Let’s get lit for Lit! Which poem or prose is your favorite?

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