The 60th World Newspaper Congress started yesterday in Cape Town, South Africa. During the opening ceremony earlier today, the World Association of Newspapers Golden Pen of Freedom award was presented. Shi Tao‘s mother, Gao Qinsheng accepted the award on his son’s behalf. Gao gave an acceptance speech and read one of Shi Tao’s poem, titled “June” which was specially written to express his sorrows about the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.


Shi Tao

My whole life
Will never get past “June”
June, when my heart died
When my poetry died
When my lover
Died in an abandoned pool of blood

June, the scorching sun burns open my skin
Revealing the true nature of my wound
June, the fish swims out of the blood-red sea
Toward another place to hibernate
June, the earth shifts, the rivers fall silent
Piled up letters unable to be delivered to the dead

June 9, 2004
(translated by Chip Rolley)
(copied from the Sydney PEN website,