Synopses & Reviews
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.
"In this fourth collection by the popular Lee (Book of My Nights), timely immigration issues drive such poems as 'Self-Help for Fellow Refugees,' but Lee swiftly folds them into broader inquiries about inheritance, memory and loss: 'you'll remember your life,' he advises, 'as a book of candles,/ each page read by the light of its own burning.' Lee's late father appears in the light of his evangelical Christian beliefs, his mother and sister as cherished links to childhood. Biblical allusions enliven an otherwise spare verbal world, while aphorisms and spiritual advice strike a note reminiscent of Rumi: 'Every wise child is sad.... Every wind-strewn flower is God tearing God.' Rarely subtle, Lee can nevertheless be concise: every line bears the weight of long meditation, sometimes even of wisdom. 'Virtues of the Boring Husband,' the longest piece, is one of Lee's best: a discourse on the nature of love ponderous but shot through with golden truths that comes from the mouth of the sheepish partner who admits, 'Whenever I talk, my wife falls asleep./ So now, when she can't sleep, I talk.' Lee's ringing clarity and his compelling life story have brought him uncommonly loyal readers: this volume should swell their ranks. A CD of Lee reading many of the poems is included." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
A highly anticipated collection from one of the most powerful voices at work in America today.
About the Author
Li-Young Lee was born of Chinese parents in Indonesia. He has lived in Chicago since 1964. His work has received many honors, including three Pushcart Prizes, the Lannan Literary Award, and the American Book Award. His collection Book of My Nights was the winner of the Poetry Society of America's William Carlos Williams Award.