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시 (2011)

Lee Chang-Dong, Yoon Jeong -Hee, Lee David
Lee Chang-Dong, Yoon Jeong -Hee, Lee David
Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images

시 (2011)

A Korean film named meaning Poetry in English is a film that depicts the vast complexities of a human including the vulnerabilities one has of lost and acceptance. Yang Mi-ja (Yoon Jeong-hee) is a sixty something woman who cares for her daughter’s teenage son Jong-wook (Lee David) after the daughter left to live in another city. Yang-Mi-ja was diagnosed with early stages of Alzheimer’s when she left the hospital and received the news of her disability she encounters a woman screaming outside with grief because of the woman’s daughter sudden suicide. It startled her and curious about the girl’s death she asks her grandson if he knew her or knew her name, but he doesn’t respond. Mi-ja then participates in a poetry class because of a comment made to her when she was a small girl that one day she will be a poet. As part of an assignment the professor tells the class to write a poem by the end of the month. Mi-ja struggles to write a poem as well as her ability to discipline her grandson. Her source of income is to care for a physically disabled man who he tries to show affection to her. Within a meeting she had with her grandson’s friend’s parents it is reveal to her shocking news about her grandson involvement that triggered the young girls’ suicide. Throughout the film Yang-Mi-ja falls into desperation and acceptance that she yearned for within her existence. This film is partially based on a real life case that film director Lee Chang-dong saw from the headlines. Yang-Mi-ja accomplished to write a poem and it is mainly a dedication for the deceased girl named Agnes, the poem title Agnes’ Song in text the poem reads:

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?
Will time pass and roses fade?
Now it's time to say goodbye
Like the wind that lingers and then goes,
just like shadows
To promises that never came,
to the love sealed till the end.
To the grass kissing my weary ankles
And to the tiny footsteps following me
It's time to say goodbye
Now as darkness falls
Will a candle be lit again?
Here I pray…
nobody shall cry…
and for you to know…
how deeply I loved you
The long wait in the middle of a hot summer day
An old path resembling my father's face
Even the lonesome wild flower shyly turning away
How deeply I loved
How my heart fluttered at hearing faint song
I bless you
Before crossing the black river
With my soul's last breath
I am beginning to dream…
a bright sunny morning…
again I awake blinded by the light…
and meet you…
standing by me.

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