by Ashley Park (United States)
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.
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?
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,
Forced themselves upon their women.
Han was the aggregated pool of suffering,
and children begging,
stars stolen from their galaxies.
Forced upon my people.
Han was their unwanted name.
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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3/15/23, 5:10 PM
I am seeing all of your comments, and BLESS YOU ALL, thank you so much for wishing me well on this journey, your kind words will certainly help me get there! ❤️❤️
Here's my linkedin, just in case:
I hope I can do that lol
3/13/23, 3:01 AM
3/10/23, 6:30 PM
You write beautifully and with so much passion. Wonderful writing Taieba,
2/28/23, 3:57 PM
"I am trying to tell you wish I were a boy
but you mis-trans-late the words and hear
wish I were less of a girl." This is my favourite statement from here! A trans-formative piece :)
2/28/23, 5:26 AM
What a wonderful piece of writing! I cannot wait to see how you will change the world for the better with your words! I am proud of you and am even prouder to call you my friend!
2/27/23, 11:43 PM
Fun to read, causing me to want to make one of these creations and the devour the result. Sophia, thanks for sharing your creativity with us
Lilies and Peonies
2/27/23, 7:00 PM
Wow, you have been through so much. What a terrible time to be living through, so many lives broken, lost, or insecure because of the war. I'm praying for you that God would protect you and your family, and that he would keep you until the war ends.
2/27/23, 4:58 PM
Sophia is my granddaughter and I am very, very proud of her and her writings. I am sure we will be seeing a lot more of her written words in the future!
2/24/23, 7:41 PM
How do I add a poem? <3
2/21/23, 6:39 AM
Amazing writing here. I love the force this piece gives. You write so creatively.
2/21/23, 6:37 AM
Congratulations on getting published!
2/20/23, 10:55 PM
This is IT!