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Han

by Ashley Park (United States)

August 2022

Write the World Review

Audio: "Han," read by Gabrielle Lieberman-Miller

My name was given to me by my parents,
and it was my father’s name
before it was mine.

From the 200 billion trillion stars in the galaxy,
my father gripped one,
eons of molten heat searing his worldly flesh
until it bubbled and dripped like candle wax,
and wrenched it from the sky
like God taking slumbering Adam's rib
and giving life to Eve.

Did Adam awake and feel its absence,
a gap in his structure,
like the heavens mourned its one stolen star?
All this for one wretched girl.

My name is Han-Byul,
and it was given to me by my parents,
my father’s name before it was mine.
Han, one.
Byul, star.
One star.
I’m sure the galaxy won’t mind its disappearance.

Han, on its own, coincidentally also means
“an internalized feeling of deep sorrow, resentment, grief, regret and anger, which is felt by all Koreans.”
Do Americans not feel it, then?
The Bolivians?
The French?

How lucky.
In folklore, han kept spirits from reaching the afterlife.
The seething heat
of vengeance and hatred
held too close to the heart for them to move on.
Forced to wander the earth
dragging that boiling red alongside.

Han was also the sorrow my ancestors felt
when foreigners devoured their land,
their language,
their history.
Forced themselves upon their women.

Han was the aggregated pool of suffering,
drowned men
and women
and girls
and children begging,
stars stolen from their galaxies.
Forced upon my people.
Han was their unwanted name.
Accepted nonetheless,
because han was also identity my people found in grieving.

Han also means one.
One sorrow, one agony, one grief.
Hanbyul, one star.




Hanbyul Park, 16, is Korean American and lives in Louisville, Kentucky. She has a cat and loves watching movies.

#Family          #Identity          #Memory

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12/3/22, 12:37 AM

Gretel Alberta

11/19/22, 9:15 AM

This is a masterpiece.... Well done

Kerenhappuch

10/12/22, 2:00 AM

An amazing piece on climate change. Congratulations!

Kerenhappuch

10/12/22, 1:58 AM

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. I love this! Could read this over and over again.

Kerenhappuch

10/12/22, 1:56 AM

Such a beautiful piece Lyat. Congratulations!

Keren-happuch

10/12/22, 1:54 AM

From your piece, you're an inspiration and a driven person who wants to make the world better. I hope you get to achieve all these and I hope you receive all the support.

Keren-happuch

10/12/22, 1:48 AM

Brilliant and educative in all aspects!

Keren

10/12/22, 1:43 AM

Everything about this piece has perfectly collided with the perfect words. Teen years are special and form a concrete part of a person's life. Glad I read this now. It's a beautiful piece.

Keren-happuch

9/29/22, 4:40 PM

Lovely piece!

Tom Lofft

9/24/22, 2:13 PM

Was this inspired by flights over Iceland?

Sydney

9/24/22, 10:04 AM

Amazing. I love it.

Allison

9/23/22, 7:34 AM

This is just so good!!!! "The air has been poisoned' I love how you describe things! Congrats :))