Ad Policy

Kim Ok

Kim Ok (1896–19??) was an early Modernist poet and translator, born in Jeongju, North P’yŏng’an (present-day North Korea). A precocious linguist, he studied in Tokyo during Japan’s occupation of Korea, and published the first translations of Western poetry and literary theory in Korean, introducing the works of Verlaine, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, and Yeats. Throughout his life, he was employed as a teacher (famously to poet Kim Sowol), journalist, and editor. The circumstances of his death are unknown: Kidnapped by agents of the Kim (Il-Sung) regime in 1950 during the Korean War, he was last recorded living in 1958 at a farm collective in North Korea. Today, his work remains blacklisted in both North and South Korea.