Jang Hon (張混, 장혼, 1759-1828) was a Chosun dynasty poet. He was of the Gyeolseong Jang Clan (結城張氏, 결성장씨); his courtesy name (字, 자) was Weonil (元一, 원일); and his pen names (號, 호) were Iieom (而已广, 이이엄) and Gonggongja (空空子, 공공자). He was born into a skilled Chung’in class (中人, 중인) family. He was recommended by Oh Jaesun (吳載純, 오재순, 1727-1792), a literati bureaucrat, to the Gyoseogwan (校書館, 교서관), an office that was responsible for printing of Chinese Classics and history books. During his time at the Gyoseogwan, Jang Hon focused his attention on children’s education, and published a number of Classical Chinese textbooks for children. His edition of the Gyemongpyeon (啓蒙篇 , 계몽편) was highly influential in early modern children’s education and was in print even during Japanese colonial period. He also excelled in Classical Chinese poetry, in particular ancient style poetry (古體詩, 고체시). He was also one of the leading poets at the non-aristocratic poetry circle known as the Songseokweon Shisa (松石園詩社, 송석원시사).
At Jin’gwan Temple, Calling a Rime
The first step to nirvana is to enter clouds and pine trees,
Numerous li (里,리) is on the path by the clear mountains’ stream.
First • land • to enter • clouds • pine trees
Numerous • li • to be clear • mountain gorge • paths
- 津寬寺(진관사) – Jin’gwan Temple is a Buddhist temple located in Mount Bukhan (北漢山, 북한산), a mountain on the northern border of Seoul.
- 初地(초지) – Literally “first land.” Refers to the first step in nirvana.
The Golden Temple, the Goryeo Kings constructed;
The remaining traces, the floating clouds have swept.
Golden • temple • Goryeo • King • to create
Remnant • traces • to be floating • clouds • to sweep
The cave in heaven is extremely far and distant.
Gazing around is certainly good affair.
Cave • heaven • extremely • to be far • to be distant
Around • to gaze • to be • affairs • to be good
- 洞天(동천) – Literally “a cave in heaven.” Refers to a place where a Taoist hermit resides.
The rain is severe and the old temple becomes dark.
Monkeys and birds enter my held thoughts.
Rain • to be severe • old • temple • to be dark
Monkeys • birds • to enter • thoughts • to be held
I send these words to my school of empty thought friend.
In the fragrant mountains, there reside nine old men.
To send • words • empty • door • friend
Fragrant • mountain • to exist • nine • to be old
- 空門(공문) – “School of empty thought.” Refers to Buddhism.