This study purposed to examine the image of ‘cow,’ one of the animals appearing in Sino Korean poems. Specifically, this study paid attention to the image of cow as the most humanized animal on the boundary between man and nature. In this study, the image of cow was approached from three aspects. First, ‘cow as a symbol of unrestraint (無拘束) beyond the boundary of fame and wealth’ was examined. ‘Cattle breeding (牧牛) and cow riding (騎牛)’ and ‘the surrounding space’ were perceived by poets as, respectively, ‘behavior antipodal to the pursuit of fame and wealth’ and ‘the place to return someday.’ Second, paying attention to ‘slow walking’ and ‘broad back’ of cow, the poets tried to explain cow from the viewpoint of ‘rhythm and motion toward nature.’ Traveling on the broad back of a cow walking slowly is a symbol of leisure. Not only this, slow walking also allows the traveler to observe scenic objects thoroughly until reaching a mystic place and even expanding the boundary of mind through absorption. Third, from the viewpoint of ‘agricultural asset and opportunity of greed (利慾),’ cow in the poems revealed the meaning of possession at farmhouses and captured various human emotions changing in response to utility. A cow represented the health of rural life as a key element of traditional agricultural society, and stood at the center of the pastoral ideal land. It is particularly notable that, going beyond a symbol of leisure, cow’s unique shape and movement coincided with the style and attitude of appreciating nature and expanding mind. On the other hand, cow was instrumentalized further along with the spread of commercial capital during the late Joseon Dynasty, and this seems to be associated with the downfall of yangban (兩班). With regard to this, further research is required.
2. ‘소’의 사회 문화적 함의
3. 한국 한시에 나타난 ‘소’의 형상