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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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3/9/24, 12:43 AM

This was absolutely a good read! 😃

Ushing Mya

11/24/23, 4:42 PM

I'm amazed by your deep perception towards little things of life! Keep glowing dear Taieba.

Fatima Ismail

10/4/23, 10:28 AM

I'll like to see more of your writing

Fatima Ismail

10/4/23, 10:26 AM

Gsk I love it!

dont care

10/3/23, 7:58 PM

womp womp


9/29/23, 2:03 AM


9/29/23, 2:03 AM

Wow..just wow. Ridiculous words I know. I just stumbled across your poem as this is my first time on the website and I landed this masterpiece. As an immigrant myself, I could relate to several aspects of this. Your use of imagery, symbolism, and allusion is outstanding


9/17/23, 8:43 AM

Powerful. Spreading the truth some don't think about, some don't have to worry about. A great and strong piece.

9/16/23, 2:41 AM

9/16/23, 2:41 AM

9/16/23, 2:41 AM

Aisha Yaakub

8/25/23, 10:35 PM

Excellent and amazing

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