Kim Yuk (金堉, 김육, 1580-1658) was a Chosun literati bureaucrat. He was of the Cheongpung Kim Clan (淸風金氏, 청풍김씨); his courtesy name (字, 자) was Baekhu (伯厚, 백후); his pen name (號, 호) was Jamgok (潛谷 , 잠곡); and his posthumous name (諡, 시) was Munjeong (文貞, 문정). As a bureaucrat, he is most notable for having vigorously advocated for the “Grand Union Law,” or Daedongbeop (大同法, 대동법). This law eliminated the prior tax system of requiring special types of goods from various parts of the country with a uniform system of taxing grain from all throughout the peninsula.
In the poem below, Kim Yuk writes about Baekro (白露, 백로), literally “White Dew,” one of the 24 solar terms of the calendar year. Baekro is when the sun is between 165 and 180 degrees on its celestial longitude. As a solar term, which month and day it falls on varies on the lunar calendar from year to year but always falls on September 7th on the Gregorian Calendar. In Korean culture, the food traditionally associated with this day is grape. Indeed, another name for the period between Baekro and Chuseok (秋夕, 추석) is the “Ten Day Season of Grapes,” or Podosunjeol (葡萄旬節, 포도순절).
At Yeonggak Bay, Meeting the Day of the White Dew
Borrowing the Rimes of Diplomat Yi Man’yeong
The day of the white dew startles the cold season.
In the boat, I sense the energy first.
Afar, how pitiful is the moon at the edge of heaven!
The light is faint; it is not yet round and circular.
antelope • horn • bay • white • dew • day
to borrow • records • book • (apricot tree • to be late • glory) • rime
white • dew • to startle • cold • season
boat • middle • to obtain • energy • first
afar • to pity • heaven • edge • moon
light • to be thin • not yet • round • round
- This blogger is unsure where Yeonggak Bay (羚角灣, 영각만) is.
- Seojang (書狀, 서장) was a literati bureaucratic position that had the duty of accompanying an diplomat and making records of the diplomat’s trip.
- Yi Man’yeong (李晩榮, 이만영, 1604-1672) was Kim Yuk’s fellow literati bureaucrat.