The present Google Doodle denotes the 117th birthday celebration of Jeong Ji-yong, a writer, interpreter, and teacher whose work encountered a resurgence in the late 1980s and who is as of now extensively thought about a pioneer of modern Korean poetry.
In 1902, on this day, born in Hage-ri town of Ocheon County in Chungchong area, Jeong Ji-Yong grew up during the Japanese occupation of Korea. He published his first poem in 1919 and a short time later ventured out to Japan to study English at Doishha University, composing his thesis on British artist and poet William Blake.
As a Korean living in an alternate country, his poetry from this period communicated a feeling of longing for home. Among his best-loved poems is 향수, or “Nostalgia,” published in 1923. Adapted into a melody, it has turned out to be well known on Korean radio, bringing out memories of life in a country town, punctuated with the haunting refrain: “Could it ever be forgotten, even in one’s dreams?”
Popular for his amazing imagery and fundamental yet evocative verse, Jeong Ji-yong continued publishing poetry and teaching high school English at his alma mater—and later at Ewha Women’s University—until his unexplained evaporating around 1950. The Jeong Ji-yong Literature Prize was set up in 1989 to perceive developing authors and keep his heritage alive.