Once I have the freedom to say
my tongue will lose its power.
Since my poems strive to break the walls
that cut off people’s voices,
they become drills and hammers.
 
But I will be silenced.
The starred tie around my neck
at any moment can tighten into a cobra.
 
How can I speak about coffee and flowers?
 
Ha Jin, “Because I Will be Silenced” from Between Silences.  Copyright © 1990 by Ha Jin.  Reprinted by permission of The University of Chicago Press.

Source: Between Silences(The University of Chicago Press, 1990)

Ha Jin

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