2021 Sejong International Sijo Competition

Winners | Judges | Winning Entries

Winning Entries

Khoa Ngo Binh Anh



On the tree, the cicada does not move as the minutes pass;
It is but an empty husk that's left behind, unchanging, stiff.
I say so to my grandfather, who looks as though he's just asleep.


Madelyn Esser



My grandma loves the rain.
        So she moved to Seaside:
a small town on the Oregon coast,
        where it almost always rains.
Now I love the company of rain
        because when it rains, she's still here.


Pierce Cunningham

honorable mention


Decrepit man, full of sorrow, the touch of loss, tears on his face
Walks around, deep in his head, thoughts of the boy, the boy who’s gone
Knock knock Knock, yelling at the door, the boy is back, back from school


Ashley Ells

honorable mention

Industrial World

Factories pump products while gas gluts the air. We’re strangled.
Garbage floats in the ocean, trees tumble down, fires rage on.
All for us, animals die and the earth cries as she drowns.


Curtis Hansen

honorable mention


Though I mask, and mask again, though I mask one thousand times,
After my vaccination, whether this virus dies or not,
My blue eyes forever shining with great hope will never fade away.

*Adapted from Jeong Mong-Ju (1338-1392)


Julianus Julius

honorable mention

Met By A Breeze

Met by a breeze, wish I'd momentarily unzip my head,
Expose my burdening thoughts, have them blown away to be free;
However, they didn't fall as leaves to be blown away by winds.


SangHoon Jung

honorable mention


Grandmama’s tender singing caressed me to bed as a child.
Now, I sing the same songs to her in her hospital bed.
They say she can’t remember; her faint smile tells me otherwise.


Hyo Rhi Kim

honorable mention

Origin Myth

Here I’m asked, “Where are you from?” there I’m asked, “Where are you from?”
I must be from somewhere else, an odd piece that God misplaced.
It is true I’m passing through just like you, a puff of dust that traveled far.