Shin Dong-yup (poet)

Shin Dong-yup (August 18, 1930 – April 4, 1969) was a Korean poet.[1]

Shin Dong-yup
Born(1930-08-18)August 18, 1930
Buyeo, South Chungcheong, Korea
DiedApril 7, 1969(1969-04-07) (aged 38)
NationalitySouth Korea
Notable awardsOrder of Cultural Merit (Silver crown)
SpouseIn Byung-sun
Korean name
Revised RomanizationSin Dongyeop
McCune–ReischauerSin Tongyŏp
Pen name
Revised RomanizationSeongnim


Early lifeEdit

Shin Dong-yup was born on August 18, 1930, in Buyeo, South Chungcheong Province, Korea. In 1944, he graduated from Buyeo Elementary School at the head of his class and then attended Jeonju Normal School. The tuition, room and board were paid by the Korean government. According to the book, National Poet Shin Dong-yup by the poet Kim Eung-gyo, his father, Shin Yeon-sun, discovered his talent for writing.[2] Despite their poverty, his father taught him how to write when Shin Dong-yup was six years old.

School lifeEdit

In 1948, Shin Dong-yup was expelled from the Normal School as a consequence of student protests against Syngman Rhee, and in particular for disagreeing with the South Korean president's land reform policy and inaction on liquidating pro-Japanese assets. He was transferred to teach at an elementary school in Buyeo, as he was already certified as a teacher. However, he quit his job and entered Dankook University, majoring in history. His father was a judicial scrivener, but he could not support his son financially with his low pay, so he had to sell his farm.

Korean WarEdit

Shin Dong-yup had to return to his hometown when the Korean War broke out in 1950. The North Korean People's Army took over Buyeo on July 15, 1950. The North Korean People's Army intended to implement communist land reform. Shin Dong-yup was not interested in political issues, but he was employed by the Democratic and National Youth Alliance and worked there until late September 1950. The army exploited his knowledge of organization and business. He agreed with communist ideas regarding social reforms, although he was an anarchist. He was drafted into the National Defense Corps in late 1950. After the dissolution of the army, he caught liver distoma from eating crabs.

Debut as a writerEdit

In 1953, Shin Dong-yup applied to become an air force candidate and passed. However, after graduation from Dankook University, he remained unassigned to a billet. He then moved to Donam-dong, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul, and opened a secondhand bookstore near his home. At that time, Shin Dong-yup met his future wife, In Byung-sun, who was a senior at Ewha Girls' High School.[3] He married In Byung-sun and they returned to his hometown. In Byung-sun opened a boutique in Buyeo to overcome poverty, and Shin Dong-yup was assigned to Joosan Agriculture High School in Boryeong, South Chungcheong Province. He quit teaching because of tuberculosis, and fell into reading and writing after he sent his wife and children to stay with his wife's parents.

In 1959, he won The Chosun Ilbo annual spring literary contest with The Talking Ploughman's Earth, and he made his debut as a writer under his pen name, Seok Lim.[4] He recovered from tuberculosis and started working at Education Criticism Publisher in Seoul. He wrote Student Revolution collection of poems and protested in the April Revolution.[5] This is why Shin Dong-yup is often referenced as the "April Revolution poet" by many writers. He was able to write "Who Said Who Looked Up At The Sky" and "Husk, Be Gone" based on his experiences in the April Revolution.[6] In 1961, he was hired as a teacher for an evening section at the Myung-Sung Girls' High School, where he immersed himself in writing poems. He graduated from Konkuk University's graduate school with a master's degree in Korean Literature in 1964. In 1963, he published a poetry collection, Asanyeo, and an epic poem, Keumkang.

His liver distoma worsened, and this eventually turned into liver cancer. He died at age 38 on April 7, 1969.

Commemoration after deathEdit


On April 9, 1969, he was buried at the foot of Wollong Mountain, Geumchon-eup, Paju-gun, Gyeonggi-do, and a tombstone was erected on December 14th.[7] The mausoleum moved to Buyeo in November 1993 and settled on a mountain across from Neungsan-ri tomb.

Shin Dong-yeop Literature MuseumEdit

In Buyeo-gun, the Shin Dong-yeop Literature Hall was opened on May 3, 2013, with a total area of 800m2 behind his birthplace.



Shin Dong-yup published many poems such as "Husk, Be Gone", which criticized the opportunists swept up by democratic power and also "March", "Farm", and "The Sky We Saw". He wrote epic poems, including The Talking Ploughman's Earth, Woman's Life, and more than ten critiques. In 1989, his poem "On the hills and mountains" was included in middle school textbooks.

The following is a Korean to English translation of his most famous poem, "Husk, Be Gone".

껍데기는 가라

껍데기는 가라.
사월도 알맹이만 남고
껍데기는 가라.

껍데기는 가라
동학년(東學年) 곰나루의,
그 아우성만 살고
껍데기는 가라.

그리하여, 다시
껍데기는 가라.

이곳에선, 두 가슴과 그곳까지 내논
아사달 아사녀가
중립의 초례청 앞에 서서
부끄럼 빛내며

껍데기는 가라.
한라에서 백두까지
향그러운 흙가슴만 남고
그, 모오든 쇠붙이는 가라.[8]

Husk, be gone

Husk, be gone;
April, let your husk
go and your grain remain.

Husk, be gone;
Let only the shouting
of the Tonghak revolution
remain, its husk gone.

And again, husk, be gone
from this land

in which a native lad meets his lass,
heart to heart,
free and easy;
they will welcome each other
for the marriage of minds
in the peace hall
of neutrality.

Husk, be gone
from Mount Halla in the south
to Mount Paektu in the north;
Let all glinting metals go
and only sweet earth remain.[9]

The government prohibited the sale of the book immediately after it was published, as the poetry was symbolic of democratization.


  • Shin Dong-yup (1963). Asanyeo. Munhaksa.
  • Shin Dong-yup (1975). Shin Dong-yup collection. ChangjangguaBipyungsa.[10]
  • Shin Dong-yup, Shin Gyeong-rim (1988). Fallen down like a flower. Shilchunmunhaksa.
  • Shin Dong-yup (1989). Who said who looked up the sky. ChangjangguaBipyungsa.
  • Shin Dong-yup (1989). Keumkang. ChangjangguaBipyungsa.
  • Shin Dong-yup (1989). Who said who looked up the sky (revised edition). ChangjangguaBipyungsa.[11]
  • Shin Dong-yup (1991). Husk, be gone. Miraesa.

After deathEdit

The Shin Dong-yup Prize for LiteratureEdit

The Shin Dong-yup creation fund was created in 1982. The Shin Dong-yup Prize for Literature is granted every year.[12]

Shin Dong-yup literary houseEdit

The Shin Dong-yup literary house was opened near Shin Dong-yup's birthplace on May 3, 2013.



  1. ^ "신동엽" [Shin Dong-yup]. (in Korean). Retrieved 2015-11-05.
  2. ^ Kim Ŭng-gyo (2011). 신동엽 (사랑과 혁명의 시인) [Sin Tong-yŏp: sarang kwa hyŏngmyŏng ŭi siin] (in Korean) (Ch'op'an. ed.). Sŏul: Kŭl Nurim. ISBN 8963271412.
  3. ^ Choi, Jae-bong (March 2, 2006). "'시인 신동엽' 펴낸 부인 인병선씨 – 이 책으로 남편의 그늘과 '이혼'입니다" (in Korean). The Hankyoreh.
  4. ^ Seo, Dae-suk (2006). 한국의 고전을 읽는다 1 (고전문학 상, 신화ㆍ민담ㆍ여행기) [Han'guk ŭi kojŏn ŭl ingnŭnda] (in Korean) (1-p'an. ed.). Seoul: Hyumŏnisŭt'ŭ. ISBN 9788958621300.
  5. ^ Choi, Young-jun (April 13, 2006). "4.19 그날, 시인 신동엽도 거리에 있었다" (in Korean). NoCut News.
  6. ^ Chang Sŏk-chu (2009). 나는 문학이다 (이광수에서 배수아까지 111명) [Na nŭn munhak ida: Yi Kwang-su esŏ Pae Su-a kkaji 111] (in Korean) (Ch'ŏtp'an. ed.). Goyang: Namu Iyagi. ISBN 9788990976086.
  7. ^ Dong-yup, Sin (1985). 신동엽 전집. 창작과비평사.
  8. ^ Sin Tong-yŏp (2013). 껍데기는 가라 [Kkŏptegi nŭn kara] (in Korean) (1-p'an. ed.). ISBN 978-89-98047-52-8.
  9. ^ Kim, Jaihiun (c. 1994). Modern Korean Poetry. Jain Publishing Company.
  10. ^ Sin Tong-yŏp (2002). 신동엽 전집 [Sin Tong-yŏp chŏnjip] (in Korean) (Chŭngbo-p'an. ed.). Seoul: Ch'angjak-kwa pip'yŏngsa. ISBN 8936410105.
  11. ^ Shin, Dong-yup (1989). 누가 하늘을 보았다 하는가 (신동엽 시전집) [Nuga hanŭl ŭl poatta hanŭn'ga: Sin Tong-yŏp si sŏnjip.] (in Korean) (Ch'op'an. ed.). Sŏul: Ch'angjak kwa Pip'yŏngsa. ISBN 8936420208.
  12. ^ Gwon Eun-jeong (March 16, 2006). "권은정의 인터뷰 무제한/'시인 신동엽' 펴낸 부인" (in Korean). The Hankyoreh.
  13. ^ Noh, Hyung-suk (October 19, 2003). "문화예술계 유공자 발표" (in Korean). The Hankyoreh.

External linksEdit