This essay is aimed to describe and analyze topophilia in the poems of Seo Jung-Ju, especially focusing on that of hometown, which I believe is viewed very significant feature of his poetic world. Topophilia literally means 'love for place' Seo Jung-Ju endows his hometown with the name of peculiarity as ' the country of soul'
'The country of soul' denotes the primitive state of mind, which the poet depicted with an expression, 'with mind being clothed in cotton'. With being eager for 'the country of soul', he also kept wandering, enticed by 'virgin ghost' as an anima laid in his subconscious. Due to his habitual vagrancy summoned up by it, his way has two directions; the one toward ''the wish space: wunsch räume ' and the other toward 'the intimate space: intimen räume.' With 'virgin ghost', the poet's anima get a distinct and sharp image and added to it, 'an eyebrow', 'a wild goose' and 'a swing' also have animatic attributions. All these animatic images get hemicyclic feature in his works and thus represent reciprocating motion between 'the wish space' and 'the intimate space'.
Midang had constructed 'a poetics of hemicycle' with reciprocal movement and his creative way get along in unceased dialectical movement between affection and freedom. It means the energy in his vital process is well activated that the longing for 'the wish space' and for 'the intimate space' keep crossing repeatedly with forming contra-polaric tension,
One of the characteristics shown up in the life of the poet is that he always preferred 'byroads', avoiding standardized 'main street'. His preferring 'byroads' implies that he needed 'cocooned space' to cover the conflict from hostile relationship with the world and to cushion the impact of hostility from the world. While kinds of byroads provoke creative daydream, doing a role as nooky shelter, home as protective place gives another chance to newly fall into reverie.
To analyze < At the age of five years >, the fact is found out that home is endowed with the property of protective place only when the mother stays at home. The absence of mother deprives home of its protectiveness and vitality. In another poem < nooky wooden veranda at grandma's >, nooky veranda, as being a corner in corner, represents the womb of the womb.
The poet's life seems to proceed apparently along two-way directions, to the strange space where 'the virgin ghost', as the anima calls the poet and to home where mother calls him. But his anima, the virgin ghost stays deeper in inner unconsciousness, the likely passage of out-of-home is come out to be a passage of returning home or the mother's womb, that is the more primitive place of human being.
Consequently, it is 'the country of soul' in the absolute imagination where the contra-polaric confrontation and tension between the world and home has dissolved. Thus 'the country of soul' means 'the place of place' with the permanant temporality and becomes the center which the topophilia has formed from and is directed toward.