by Kim Seong-min
yet at the same time something we never had from birth.
Not an object,
yet something our parents took away.
Not only the sorrow of the hungry,
not the muffled sigh of those who wish for much.
Without it even alive we die, freedom, life!
Living with us, though we die, freedom!
originally published in North Korean Writers in Exile PEN Literature (2014 1st Issue p. 91)
I used to have a certain idea of freedom.
When I was living in the North, I thought that freedom meant being loyal to the Party and the Great Leader, and that there could be no other freedom outside...