Situated 400 kilometers from the center of London, Hay-on-Wye is a town that plays host to a treasure of millions of books from all corners of the world, with a selection of themes from various periods in time. Hay also expresses in a humorous way the restlessness and resistance of a small town community against domination from the central government and the narrow restrictions of its bureaucracy. Residents declared Hay-on-Wye independent and liberated themselves from the British government. Hay-on-Wye is a combination of intellect, mischief, and humor. The following is a serious report filed by TEMPO journalist Arif Zulkifli who recently spent time in Hay-on-Wye and combed every corner of the book-crammed out-of-the-way town.
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At a corner in a garden, where the fall wind blows, a verse from a poem by Walt Whitman speaks to the skies of Great Britain:
Farewell my breathen, Farewell O earth and sky, farewell ye neighboring water, My time has ended, my term has come.
Written on a page of a book that's being eaten away by the humid weather, the poem The Song of the Redwood Tree is the voice of America in the United Kingdom—two countries, separated by an ocean, but ines
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