Monday, February 4, 2013

Li Bifeng

Li Bifeng is a Chinese poet and dissident. He was first imprisoned for being part of the Tiananmen Square democracy movement of 1989, and imprisoned again in 1998 for writing poetry that promoted freedom. It was during this second incarceration that Li Bifeng became a Christian.

On November 19, 2012 he was sentenced to prison, again, after having been illegally held for more than a year on fraud charges, which PEN International believes are without foundation and politically motivated. He has been in prison for a total of twelve years since 1990. Some believe recent charges are meant as vengeance for Li Bifeng supposedly assisting fellow-writer, Liao Yiwu financially in his escape from China. Liao Yiwu is author of the recent book God Is Red, which is about how Christianity has flourished in Communist China. Li’s 17-year-old son is now studying in Canada with the financial support of those who want to protect him from the treatment he may receive if he returns to China.

In This Country, We Can Only Hibernate

Winter arrives too early.
Our trees begin to wither.
We no longer have the nutrients to offer them;
Our dark hair slowly freezes to white
In the snows of passing time.
Our skin is like chapped fields.
Winter is here,
We all love to hibernate.
Our hearts are tired
Our blood is tired,
We nestle beneath the snow to hibernate.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. He is the award-winning author of the poetry collections Poiema (Wipf & Stock) and So The Moon Would Not Be Swallowed (Rubicon Press). They are both available at: