Byeon Yeong-ro

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Byeon Yeong-ro
Modern-day Seoul, Korea
Korean name
Revised RomanizationByeon Yeong-ro
McCune–ReischauerPyŏn Yŏngro
Pen name
Revised RomanizationSuju

Byeon Yeong-ro (Hangul: 변영로, Hanja: 卞榮魯, 1898–1961), also known by the pen name Suju (Hangul: 수주, Hanja: 樹州), was a Korean poet and English literature scholar.[1] His real name was Byeon Yeong-Bok, but he translated his name in 1958. He is considered a pioneer of modern Korean poetry and is well-known for the poem, "Nongae" (Hangul: 논개), which was included in South Korean government-issued textbooks from 1953 to 2003.[2]


Byeon was born in Seoul in 1898. He began studying English in 1915 when he was 17 years old and graduated from a three-year English language course in only six months. In 1923, he became a lecturer at Ewha Women's University, and in 1931, he went to the United States to study at San José State University. In 1946, he became an English professor at Sungkyunkwan University. In 1955, he was elected the first chairman of the Korean PEN association.[1][3]

Byeon died of throat cancer in 1961.[4]


As a pioneer of the modern poem at the beginning stage of modernism literature, he introduced techniques that put lyricism and symbols into the compressed phrases.



<MyungJeong 40nyen>


Byun Young-ro often drank at a bar called Eunsung. The bar owner was Lee Myung-sook, the mother of Korean actor Choi Bul-am. One day, Choi Bul-am entered university. Byun Young-ro gave Choi Bul-am a glass of rice wine. Before drinking rice wine, Choi removed the yeast mass by hand. And Choi Bul-am was slapped by Byun Young-ro. The reason was to throw away food thoughtlessly.


  1. ^ a b Kim, Yong-jik (1995). "변영로(卞榮魯)". Encyclopedia of Korean Culture (in Korean). The Academy of Korean Studies. Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  2. ^ "Bucheon′s Writers and their Works". Bucheon UNESCO City of Literature. Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  3. ^ "List of Former Chairmen". PEN Korea (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-04-26.
  4. ^ "文人, 옛 잡지를 거닐다 ⑧ 변영로와 오상순". The Chosun Ilbo Magazine (in Korean). February 2015. Retrieved 2018-04-26.