After the first and second poets were killed, the third poet wrote a poem.
“They shoot at heads
But they do not know
That revolution lives in the heart.“
After the third poet was killed, the fourth poet wrote a poem.
“Don’t let your blood run cold
Pool your blood for this fight.“
After the fourth poet was killed, his body consumed by fire on May 14, there was no verse. At least for a moment.
Poetry remains alive in Myanmar, where unconventional weapons are being used to fight a military that has killed more than 800 people since it staged a coup on Feb. 1 and ousted an elected government. For some democracy activists, their politics cannot be separated from their poetry.
Sensing the power of carefully chosen words, the generals have imprisoned more than 30 poets since the putsch, according to the National Poets’ Union. At least four have been killed, all from the township of Monywa, which is nestled in the hot plains of central Myanmar and has emerged as a center of fierce resistance to the coup.