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The author examines two forms of Korean poetry, the classical sijo form and the later development, the sasŏl sijo. The article examines how these literary forms present aspects of the societies which engendered them, and argues that the differences between the forms reflects changing class and ideological structures in Yi dynasty Korea. The well-ordered rationality of the sijo form and its language of clarity and balance are shown to capture the temperament and ideology of the yangban class, while the exuberance, homely diction, and material images of the sasŏl sijo are presented as part of a deliberate, popular challenge to the existing class structure. The sijo form is linked to the prevailing Neo-Confucian ideology, while the enumerative technique of the sasŏl sijo is associated with the p'ansori and traced to traditional shaman chants.