How did a prisoner of war survive six years and eight months of soul-crushing imprisonment in the Hanoi Hilton during the Vietnam War? By writing poetry. And how did he do it without pencil or paper?
Then-Captain John Borling "wrote" and memorized poems to keep his mind sharp and spirits up. He shared his creations with fellow captives by their only means of communication—the forbidden POW tap code. Rapping on the cell walls with his knuckles, he tapped poems, certainly of pain and despair, but also of humor, encouragement, and hope, to keep everyone’s strength and spirits alive.
John Borling joins us to talk about Taps on the Walls: Poems from the Hanoi Hilton.