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The City in Which I Love You: Poems

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The City in Which I Love You: Poems

By: Li-Young Lee

Availability: In Stock

Regular price $ 14.50

About This Title

Through the observation and translation of often unassuming and silent moments, the poetry of Li-Young Lee gives clear voice to the solemn and extraordinary beauty found within humanity. By employing hauntingly lyrical skill and astute poetic awareness, Lee allows silence, sound, form, and spirit to emerge brilliantly onto the page. His poetry reveals a dialogue between the eternal and the temporal, and accentuates the joys and sorrows of family, home, loss, exile, and love.

In “The City In Which I love You,” the central long poem in his second collection under the same title , Li-Young Lee asks, “Is prayer, then, the proper attitude / for the mind that longs to be freely blown, / but which gets snagged on the barb / called world, that / tooth-ache, the actual?”

Publishers Weekly reviewer Peggy Kaganoff declared that The City in Which I Love You, a remembrance of Lee’s childhood and his father, “weaves a remarkable web of memory from the multifarious fibers of his experience.” Kaganoff added that Lee’s “images are economical yet fluid, and his language is often startling for its brave honesty.”


A Story

Sad is the man who is asked for a story
and can't come up with one.

His five-year-old son waits in his lap.
Not the same story, Baba. A new one.
The man rubs his chin, scratches his ear.

In a room full of books in a world of stories,
he can recall
not one, and soon, he thinks, the boy
will give up on his father.

Already the man lives far ahead, he sees
the day this boy will go. Don't go!
Hear the alligator story! The angel story once more!
You love the spider story. You laugh at the spider.
Let me tell it!

But the boy is packing his shirts,
he is looking for his keys. Are you a god,
the man screams, that I sit mute before you?
Am I a god that I should never disappoint?

But the boy is here. Please, Baba, a story?
It is an emotional rather than logical equation,
an earthly rather than heavenly one,
which posits that a boy's supplications
and a father's love add up to silence.

© BOA Editions, Ltd 1990

Available editions:
Cloth ISBN: 0-918526-82-5
Price: $18.00
Publishing Date: January 1990
Paperback ISBN: 0-918526-83-3
Price: $14.50
Publishing Date: January 1990