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Han

by Ashley Park (United States)

July 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.

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Syeda

8/9/22, 5:01 PM

It was very wholesome🥰🥰

Zainab Aliahmed

8/8/22, 5:11 PM

Amazing 😀

Keren

7/28/22, 4:37 PM

Really wonderful piece here.

7/11/22, 1:28 PM

Emma

7/8/22, 8:00 AM

Wow. These words hit hard for me, as I has the same experience recently. I really love how you described the feelings and the ending was really amazing. This helped me a lot. Just wow.
I hope you keep on writing.

Vivian

6/26/22, 1:46 PM

Wow you are so talented! I relate this a lot to my paternal grandfather who passed away two years ago and is very similar to yours. Sometimes family can judge you but I agree you should learn to live in the present and be happy with out having a fancy job/being married. Keep up the great work!

Ediomo Bright

6/22/22, 8:15 PM

You've done a wonderful job here.
Your intricate descriptions of the race and the emotions conferred by it is excellent.
Thank you!

6/22/22, 8:13 PM

Ediomo Bright

6/22/22, 8:09 PM

You've done a beautiful work here.
The flow of the story, the gripping emotions it enthralls the reader with, it's very wonderful.
Thank you for this.

Anonymous

6/18/22, 6:08 AM

This write-up is absolutely amazing. It made me realize why I am who I am, and I could also relate a lot. Hope you never stop writing, and I hope to read a full-length book from you soon!<3

ANSHIKA

6/17/22, 2:50 AM

It was so good to read..i really liked the description the storyline ,the plot ,everything 👍

Sanvi

6/7/22, 3:25 PM

This piece is a beautiful reminder of how ugly teenage years can be. It's real and it hurts but it's so good. Please never stop writing!