Among the Ruins
of Ancient

Turn Back the Clock Thursday | Revisiting a poetic visit to an ancient palace of the Palhae Kingdom.

Today we bring you a poem by Korean writer Yun Hae Rong on a visit to ruins an ancient Palhae Kingdom palace near Jingpo Lake in Manchuria in May 1940.

We recently visited a similar set of palace ruins near Helong in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in the midst of winter.

The Palhae Ruins

An evening sunset in May

At the ruins of Palhae

My cane together with me

Stand amid the brush

All this called history

Seems to me a lie

And even though the foundation stones,

the Six Palaces’ remaining traces, are ancient

From the highest point of the First Palace,

The bells of Answering the Soul Temple call out, call out

As I pass my hands over these tiles one by one

When I’m seized by nostalgia of the past

The farmer ploughing the fields o’er that hill

Seems to me a commoner of old

Antiquity seems to play

On the back of a yoked cow

By Yun Hae Rong, Year 16 of the Showa Era, May

'Turn Back the Clock Thursday' brings you views of Korea from more than two decades of Koryo Tours' trips to the DPRK and images in the public domain.

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