항우 작한 쳔하장사랴마는 우미인 니별에 한슘 셕꺼 눈물 지고
명황이 작한 졔셰영쥬랴마는 양귀비 니별에 마외역에 울엇거든
허물며 녀남문 장부야 일너 무삼
Xiang Yu is an outstanding general of the Heavenly empire,
But after parting with the beauty Yu he made sighs and shed tears
And Ming Huang is a talented ruler,
But after parting with Yang Guifei,
At the Mawei
Then what to say
About other men!
As Anastasia A. Guryeva notes in her paper “Allusions and Citations in the Context of New Tendencies in Korean Vernacular Poetry of Late Chosŏn,” u
Along with the tragedy of Ming Huang, a common name for Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang, and Yang Guifei, the poem mentions Xiang Yu, a famous warrior of 3rd century China. Xiang Yu is famous for his romance with a concubine 虞美人, who chose death after he himself committed suicide after a defeat (5).
The sorrows of such powerful,
Despite this, the Yang Guifei story does not seem to enjoy as much of an influence on the art and literature of Korea as on that of China or Japan. Of course the story would have been well known from a historical point of view, as this sijo demonstrates, but uniquely Korean representations or retellings of the story have been hard to find. Perhaps the fault is in our own resources, but perhaps the story itself, so seeped in the failings of its central lovers and often concerned with the eternal nature of their love, is shameful to the very Confucian sensibilities of Korea, something this national culture has not been interested in carrying forward.
Guryeva, Anastasia A. “Allusions and Citations in the Context of New Tendencies in Korean Vernacular Poetry of Late Chosŏn.” SOAS-AKS Working Papers in Korean Studies, no. 42, University of London, May 2014, pp. 3-6. https://www.soas.ac.uk/koreanstudies/overseas-leading-university-programmes/soas-aks-working-papers-in-korean-studies-ii/file92640.pdf.