Talk With A Newly-Released Poem by Perdita Young (Hanna Wang)

Talk With A Newly-Released

Rating: 4.7

Once I chatted with an elderly man
just released from jail, who had no choice but
bottom-level jobs. I tried consoling
him that it was, after all, better than
staying INSIDE. In reply he said that
actually it's not so bad INSIDE
once you got used to things there, but it was
very uncomfortable to be out.

There was equality between inmates,
the same food, the same work; we slept and rose
the same hours; true it is that you had not
any freedom, and had to obey rules there,
but no jealousy of any kind; you must
accept your fate. Yet out here things are dif-
ferent, now you have so much to compare:

Look at your life, and look at other folks',
bitterness you'll feel when you see others
wine and dine, extreme upset and discom-
fort in heart: Not respected as a con
inside, must adjust behaviors in re-
sponse to orders, that was something mental
prepared, and something you had to admit.

But out in th' world, looked down upon every-
where just because you're damned poor, that's too hard,
too hard for me to admit that; upon
which I asked: Then would you prefer to be
back there? He smiled: Though life is not comfort-
able outside, at least I can choose to
go back at any time. But I can't choose
to get out prison when I desire likewise.

A smart reply that is, some wisdom can
be read into it: freedom does not nec-
essarily yield wealth, but it entails
the right to choose, whether to buy houses
of astonishing high price (in Shanghai)
or to look on with silly optimism.

Copyright@ April 14th,2018.

- - - - - - - - - - - -
In ten-syllable lines of alternating iambic and trochaic stanzas.
Based on an entry by "Young Lawyer in Shanghai"(上海滩小律师)in his Sina Weibo(Chinese Twitter) .

Talk With A Newly-Released
Saturday, April 14, 2018
Topic(s) of this poem: freedom,justice,lost,respect
Susan Williams 27 April 2018

This is the first poem I have read by you. I was expecting some dainty flowery thing for some reason., probably because of your last name [my subconscious is weird] This poem just exploded into my conscientiousness! To quote Nika, . WoW! ! ! I have never thought about the viewpoints of a released convict this way- I just assumed he'd be delighted to be free... but you point out he is not free and in fact may be less free on the outside than the inside. 10+++++++++++ and on my fav list.

7 14 Reply
Perdita Young 30 April 2018

Thank you so much for reading my poem, Susan. It's a great encouragement to me, and your insightful comment throws new light on the situations of those people who live on the margins of society.

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Kumarmani Mahakul 27 April 2018

Finally this is justified at the end of this poem that having freedom requires wisdom. This poem advocates every step of justice very brilliantly and cleverly. An amazing poem is excellently penned is thought provoking as well as thoughtful....10

15 0 Reply
Perdita Young 09 May 2018

Thank you for your great comment, Headmaster. People should not forget that freedom requires wisdom and must not abuse it, to avoid serious consequences. it's not easy to remain wise and rational all the time though.... :)

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Nika Mcguin 27 April 2018

Wow, what an interesting perspective! It speaks volumes to the value of freedom. Here it's made clear that freedom doesn't come with no strings attached. I think in life it's possible to see the positive and negative in everything if you try. But I think we're all better off focusing on the positive, hopefully that's what the ex-con can do in the future as well. Excellent write with a refreshing point of view! ~

15 0 Reply
Bri Edwards 29 July 2022

BUT.... one can ' to buy houses of astonishing high price (in Shanghai) '....ONLY if one has the money/credit/income. This poem is JUST ONE OLD CON's story. bri ;)

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Dr Dillip K Swain 25 May 2018

It's a wonderful composition dear Perdita! My pleasure reading it again!

0 0 Reply
Carl Roussell 09 May 2018

Hello again Perdita. I have commented on this poem before and want to say to you that this is well deserved Poem of the Day. Congratulations.

7 0 Reply

A great poem on freedom and justice. Perdita, hearty Congratulations! So happy for the honour that you deserve. A full vote for you dear :)

7 0 Reply

A thought provoking write that dwells on freedom, social class and the stigma attached to an ex con. Freedom is the foundation of life. What is life if there is no freedom? But freedom is curtailed on account of crimes committed against society. It is part of human nature of the loss of respect against ex con but in due time respect will be regained if they proved their worth in the society. Beautifully crafted write well executed. A piece full of wisdom.10

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