Under the toughest of living conditions, four poets have had to employ their imaginations in order to survive. All four were incarcerated for a long period of time by a dictatorial regime. At the age of eighteen, Nizametdin Achmetov went to jail a virgin, and twenty years later he emerged, still a virgin. The Cuban Maria Elena Cruz Varela was all by herself in a prison environment where anybody could betray her, while the Russian Irina Ratoesjinkaja found that her fellow prisoners could be indispensable allies. Marcea Dinescu gives his view of the disintegration of Communism in Romania. In these stories, shot against the background of mainly desolate landscapes, sensual perception plays an important role. They tell of the smells and sounds in the cells, and one of the poets recalls that, during the first days after her release, her eyes could not stand the vivid colours of freedom.