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Words That Burn – feel through poetry


First watch musician, poet and educator Amyra Leon perform ‘Right to Be’. 

Amyra delivers a powerful expression of her right to be herself and calls for all of us to raise our voices against slavery and for freedom and equality. 

As a poet, you can use the power of your words and performance to evoke feelings in your audience. 


Elsa Wiezell (1926 - 2014) was an international award-winning Paraguayan poet, artist and university teacher. She also founded the Modern Art Museum, the journal The Feminist and the Belle Arts School, all in Paraguay. 

Read Elsa’s poem ‘Encounter with Freedom’ (translated from Spanish to English by Susan Smith Nash): 

Like an enormous wave
that lies down over my heart. 
Like the stunning beauty of the wind over the pines. 
Like an immense, vital heartbeat. 
Like the moon and the river trapped by love. 
Like all the dreams in the space of the eyes. 
Like a fistful of infinite light. 
That is the way I love freedom!

Now reflect on the poem: 

  • What do you like / dislike about the poem?
  • Do you notice any themes or patterns? 
  • Does it trigger any feelings in you?


Encounter with Freedom

Encounter with Freedom by Elsa Wiezell, illustrated by Korean artist Choi Jung-In for Dreams of Freedom (Amnesty International 2015) ©Choi Jung-In

Use separate strips of paper, post-it notes or text boxes. Write as many similes and metaphors as you can for what freedom means and feels like to you. 

Are there any common images or themes? Move your lines to find patterns or groupings until you are happy with the order of your poem. 

Now create an illustrated version of your poem.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Words That Burn - bitesize poetry series 

Explore more about the power of poetry with our other bitesize blogs: 

The Words That Burn bitesize poetry series explores the power of poetry and suggests writing activities you can try at home. For full teaching resources visit

About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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