li-young lee

Li-Young Lee is probably my most favorite American poet.  At least, in this moment, I cannot think of another whose work I consistently fall in love with, poem after poem.  Yes, I have my infatuations:  Tony Hoagland, Denise Levertov, Marge Piercy, Carol Ann Duffy, to name a few - all great poets in their own right.  But Li-Young Lee ..... he's the stuff of grown-up infatuations, the brooding poet with a complicated past.  From Blossoms is poetic perfection.  I don't think that of many poems.  I would not change a word of this poem.  It haunts me with its aching beauty.  ~ rdg

From Blossoms

From blossoms comes
this brown paper bag of peaches
we bought from the boy
at the bend in the road where we turned toward
signs painted Peaches

From laden boughs, from hands,
from sweet fellowship in the bins,
comes nectar at the roadside, succulent
peaches we devour, dusty skin and all,
comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat. 

O, to take what we love inside,
to carry within us an orchard, to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
the round jubilance of peach. 

There are days we live
as if death were nowhere
in the background; from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.

~ by  Li-Young Lee 



J Cosmo Newbery said...

It is most beautifully done.

red dirt girl said...

heartbreakingly so ...


Relax Max said...

This is what poetry is supposed to be. I think. Don't know yet, but it made me feel good to read it.

red dirt girl said...

I'm glad you like it, Max.

At the moment this poem makes me feel sad when I read it - but I tend to let my dominant feelings color my world and, ergo, my perceptions.

Feeling is good, Max, yes ?? .. :)


ps. your INTP compadre has labeled this poem a 'meh' ... I think he's over-thinking it ... or under-feeling it ...

SL said...

I tend to always be in a hurry, physically or mentally or both, so I love how your posts make me slow down and read them over again and again. This is a lovely RDG!

Bulletholes said...


red dirt girl said...

Hi SL !!

so good to see you at 'the gate' !!

I always appreciate your thoughtful comments, and of course, I love it when others find something special in the poems that I love and share.

It is one of those poems that reveals its complexity the more you savor it ... :)


red dirt girl said...

Hey cowboy !!

How are you healing ???!!

Billy Collins can't hold a candle to Li-Young Lee !!! :)

Think about it - when you bite into a peach, you taste the orchard; you eat the shade; you savor the days ... !!

I love this!