Home Page > Writing by Liu Xiaobo

Liu Xiaobo, ICPC honorary and former president as well as 2010 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has been jailed since 8 December 2008, severing his sentence of 11 years imprisonment. Translated by Yu Zhang. Edited by Bonny Cassidy

PEN is calling for immediate and unconditional release of  the release Liu Xiaobo and wife, Liu Xia.

PEN is calling for immediate and unconditional release of the release Liu Xiaobo and wife, Liu Xia.

To My Wife

As if the cold and indifferent moon
Is hanging high over my head
The flashing arrogance is looking down
To suffocate me
Its background is so deep and mysterious
As ghosts vomited from a grave

I am presenting holiness and purity
In exchange for being close to you in a dream
Not seeking for skin burning
But dyeing my eyes with a layer of cold ice
To see the sky fire dying in its paleness

The sky’s grief is too vast and bare
To see through with the eyes of my soul
Give me a drop of rain
To polish the concrete floor
Give me a ray of light
To display the question from lightning

One word from you
Can open this door
To let the night go home


The Cliff

I was forced to mount a cliff somewhere
While a sharp rock embedded into my skin
An order commanding me stand to shout
And issuing an ultimatum to the world

I could stand but not shout
Or I could shout but not stand
Straight body could only be rigid
While crazy shout could only be bent

Steepness and sharpness of the abyss
Did not allow straightness to challenge them
The limits of the body could only choose between two ways
But the absolute order demanded both

To choose is a hopeless struggle
Either to stand straight shouting and being crushed to pieces
Or to bend my knees to the abyss
While the huge sky has pressed down



Between the gray wall
And a string of sounds of chopping in kitchen
Dawn is tied and cut
And melted by a sort of limpness of soul

I do not know how the difference
Between light and darkness displays through my pupils
Sitting in the rust I cannot determine
Whether it is the light of prison shackles
Or the god of nature beyond the walls
Betrayal of the day makes the proud sun
Shocked very much

This dawn is broad in vain
While you in a great distance
Collect the nights of love


A Little Mouse in Prison

A little mouse crept through the iron bars
Pacing forth and back on the windowsill
The peeled walls are watching it
And so are the mosquitoes full of blood
It also attracts the moon in the sky
So that its silver projection seems flying
What a rare beauty

The mouse in this evening is rather a gentleman
Not eating, drinking, or chattering its teeth
But staring with its eyes bright as a thief
And taking a walk in the moonlight


Longing to Escape

To put aside the fictitious martyrdom
I am longing for lying on your feet
Beside being entangled with death
This is my sole obligation
And also an everlasting happiness
when my heart is clear as a mirror

Your toes could not be broken
As a cat was following you behind
I would really like to drive it away
It turned around to me
And outstretched its claws
In the depth of its blue eyes
There appeared a prison
If I stepped out blindly
Even just a step
I would be turned into a fish