Ko Un/Rupert Brooke Property – Poetry News Roundup March 5th

We begin the week here at My Poetic Side with further news relating to the story of the Korean poet Ko Un. We also take a look at a property linked to Rupert Brooke that will shortly be up for auction.

Poet Speaks Out

Ko Un, the Korean poet who is at the centre of the sexual harassment accusations sweeping the Korean literary scene has finally spoken out. However, he has only denied the allegations abroad.

The denial comes as the government have bowed to pressure and removed all of his poetry from school textbooks. This move comes after the closing of a library dedicated to his work at the end of last week and his decision to move out of his state-funded home the week before.

The statement which denies the poets involvement in an sexual misconduct was published over the weekend in the Guardian newspaper in the UK under the title “Poet Ko Un erased from Korean textbooks after sexual harassment claims.” In the statement he says that he has not spoken up against the allegations in his own country as he would simply wait for time to pass and the truth to come to light but that he has chosen to speak up as his foreign friends do not have access to the same facts and he wished to put the record straight.

In Korea, he has issued no such statement, nor has he spoken about the allegations other than to say that all he has ever done is try to encourage female writers with their work and if his actions in the past would constitute what today would be classed as sexual harassment then he is sorry.

Granchester Home with Links to Poet to be Sold at Auction

Cambridge auction house Cheffins will be selling Orchard House in Granchester, just a few miles from Cambridge, on 14th March.

Although the house was only home to the poet Rupert Brooke between 1909 and 1911 it has perhaps seen more than its fair share of well-known members of literary circles over the years.

Brooke lived in the house whilst he was a graduate student from the nearby University of Cambridge. Described by W.B Yeats as “The Handsomest man in Britain,” Brooke was very popular and attracted rather a following, hosting parties at Orchard House that attracted people like John Maynard Keynes, EM Forster, Virginia Woolf and the other members of what collectively became known as the Granchester Group.

As a new graduate in 1909 Brooke moved to the cottage, he lodged with the Stevenson family. For 30 shillings a week, meals and use of the garden were included with his accommodation costs.

The house which is in need of some renovation is being sold by the executor of the late owner, it has 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, several living spaces a huge garden and an all-important blue plaque near the front door. It is believed that the property could draw significant interest from locals looking to purchase property in the area, investors and even institutions.

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