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Behind My Eyes: Poems by Li-Young Lee

Behind My Eyes: Poems (2008)

by Li-Young Lee

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Lee's poems are consistently stunning, pulling together careful observation, powerful language, and graceful moments in any given line and stanza. Falling into his work is something like journeying into another space and another mind, his poems are each, from beginning to end, so carefully constructed. And yet, they seem effortless, and they are readable and engaging. Few poems in this collection are not stand-outs, and in most collections, any of these poems would leap from the pages and demand attention and re-reading.

Simply, Lee's work is powerful and forever worth reading, forever worth sharing.

Recommended. ( )
  whitewavedarling | Mar 5, 2016 |
Spare but nonetheless moving, Lee's collection of poems draw on his background as the child of immigrant parents, his curiosity about the past, the conflict between a desire to assilimlate and a struggle against it. ( )
  Cariola | Dec 24, 2010 |
Li-Young Lee doesn’t publish a prodigious number of poems, but each has weight and heft, which explains the anticipation surrounding his fourth volume. Both birds (some identified, some simply feathery presences) and breath are invoked as markers for memory. Rather than impose adult reason on the child’s fragmented memory, the poem’s speaker relives moments as fragile as the bones of birds, as in these lines from “A Hymn to Childhood”: “Grief in the heard dove at evening, / and plentitude in the unseen bird / tolling at morning. Still slow to tell / memory from imagination, heaven / from here and now, / hell from here and now, / death from childhood, and both of them / from dreaming.” The past flies by in these poems, as immediate as a rush of air through feathers.
Reviewed in SN&R, March 13, 2008: http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/Content?oid=634696 ( )
  KelMunger | Mar 19, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393065421, Hardcover)

A highly anticipated collection from one of the most powerful voices at work in America today.

Combining sensitivity and eloquence with a broad appeal, Li-Young Lee walks in the footsteps of Stanley Kunitz and Billy Collins as one of the United States’s most beloved poets. Playful, erotic, at times mysterious, his work describes the immanent value of everyday experience. Straightforward language and simple narratives become gateways to the most powerful formulations of beauty, wisdom, and divine love.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:44 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A collection of poems in which Li-Young Lee explores themes of immigration, inheritance, memory, and loss. Includes a selection of readings by the author on CD.

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W.W. Norton

2 editions of this book were published by W.W. Norton.

Editions: 0393065421, 0393334813

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