In yesterday's New York Times I saw an article "On Keeping On," by Bill Keller, an op-ed columnist. He wrote about a book of poems Taps on the Walls: Poems From the Hanoi Hilton by John Borling who was a prisoner of war for six and a half years in the infamous North Vietnamese prisoner of war camp known as the Hanoi Hilton. With no pencil and no paper, John Borling found a way to keep his mind active and entertain his fellow prisoners using a code. He tapped out poems and messages. He memorized the poems and when he was finally freed, he recorded them.
Now, forty years later, the poems have been compiled into a book. Late last night, I downloaded the book--and then I could not get to sleep. The poems are haunting and proof of the incredible strength of the human spirit.