This paper reads “A Rose is Sick,” a poem by the Korean poet, Yun Dong-Ju (1917-1945), in the context of two other poems: “Cafe·France” by the Korean poet, Jeong Ji-Yong and “The Sick Rose,” by the British Romantic poet, William Blake. Partly because of its apparently simple structure and meaning, Yun`s “A Rose is Sick” has received little critical attention. However, I argue that the poem revises and extends the symbol of the rose in Blake`s “The Sick Rose,” transmuting it into something that denotes collective as well as individual disease. The rose is thus afflicted by what Hannah Arendt has characterized as “dark times.” The two poets, who lived far apart temporally and spatially, are mediated by another Korean poet Jeong Ji-Yong, whose “Cafe·France” also alludes to Blake`s sick rose. I first explicate Yun`s “A Rose is Sick,” tracing Yun`s rewriting of the central symbol of Blake`s “The Sick Rose” via Jeong`s deliberate Blakean allusions. I then infer that Blake`s presence in Jeong`s work can be attributed to the prevalent popular and literary fascination with Blake in early twentieth-century Japan. Blake was introduced by Muneyoshi Yanagi to a Japanese audience as a painter, poet, and mystic. Yun`s encounter with Blake crystalizes the moment when Korean writers both struggled against, and participated in, the establishment of modern literature as an institution - an institution which, in turn, formed part of the educational structure of colonial Korea. If, in Blake, the symbol of the rose refers to a diseased individual tied by political, moral, and religious fetters, thus revealing Blake`s poignant indictment of a diseased society, in Jeong`s work and, more specifically, in Yun`s, the diseased rose not only becomes a striking symbol of the condition of the diseased individual but also serves as something through which both speakers may respectively look into themselves. In this way, the speakers are compelled to see themselves just as unhealthily feminized or diseased as their nation.