Choe Chung (Ch’oe Ch’ung)
Choe Chung was a famous poet and the primary
neo-Confucian scholar during the reign of
King Munjong (1047-83). He is revered as
the father of the private-school system of
Confucian education which played such a
predominant role during the Choson
Most ancient anthologies credit his sijo as
being the earliest examples of this form.
Only two have come down to us.
My life is full of regret
that I didn’t live in Fu Hsi’s time.*
True, people were clad then in grass
and ate the fruits of the wild.
Still, their souls were constant and plain;
how I envy the life they lived.
*Fu Hsi was one of the three most highly
regarded kings of ancient China,
noted for the simplicity of his life.
He is said to have taught men the art
of fishing and other ways of upright living.
All Rights Copyright 2005 by Larry Gross.
Please do not reprint without written permission.
Learn more about the sijo.