Li-Young Lee the Gift the Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :



And maybe too there is a "tiny flame" being planted, a flame of hope, a flame of inspiration, and a flame of recovery? We know from his biography (http://www.artandculture.com) that Li-Young Lee's father was imprisoned by the Sukarno regime in Jakarta, Indonesia, during the time Li-Young Lee was an infant. The Sukarno fascist regime hated Chinese, and Li-Young Lee's father (who had been a personal physician to Mao Zedong) got caught up in that vicious hateful moment of jailing Chinese people in Indonesia. That time in his dad's life might have also been a time for reflection, a time when he re-dedicated himself to being the best father he could be. The tiny flame could be a flame of freedom for the reader, no matter what his father's motives were, no matter what the poem was really supposed to mean. In the book American Poets Since World War II, Fourth Series, Joseph Conte of State University of New York (Conte 1996) writes that Li-Young Lee is "a poet unafraid of exceeding tenderness, and agile enough to walk the tightrope between anger and fear." In this poem, there is a tightrope between the fear of being injured or killed by one's carelessness (as in getting the splinter in the first place), and perhaps the fear of being punished by a strong father who has warned you about being careful around metal shavings and splinters.

And then the poem takes the reader from the boyhood incident with the splinter to a husband who is now helping his wife by removing a splinter. Does the husband sing a low song like a deep well with dark water? The reader doesn't know. The reader is touched by that intimate moment with the father, the passage of time, and love is within the lines of the poem throughout.

In the unceasing rush of the modern world," the Art & Culture review of this poem explains, "everything conspires to prevent meditation, awareness, or faith in anything greater than the day's events." That is so true, as our world is exploding with terrorism, global warming problems, cultures fighting with cultures, AIDS and other terrible diseases, politicians involved in scandals, and the news is constantly reminding us about kidnappings and other terrible things. But if we stop to read the poetry of an artist like Li-Young Lee, and let our imagination peek into the scene where first the father is helping the son in a tender moment, and next the husband is pulling a shard from his wife's thumb, we can slow the world down.

Our world can become what the poet is expressing at that moment. There need not be any death, or collision of cultures. The Asian culture is known as a culture where families raise their children with great care to be educated, responsible, and to plan well for the future. Reading a sensitive poem like this takes one's mind off the world's problems and focuses on the family, and on love, and a father's gentle but strong hand. "I kissed my father," is very sweet, and shows the reader that the father gave the boy "something to keep" (love and protection), and so, a boy can return the love in his own way.

Works Cited

Art & Culture. "The Gift- Li-Young Lee." Retrieved Nov. 28, 2007, at http://www.artandculture.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/AClive.woa/wa/artist?id=1084.

Conte, Joseph. "Li-Young Lee." Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 165: American

Poets Since World War II, Fourth Series. A Bruccoli Clark Layman Book (1996): 139-146.

Madsen, Deborah L. "Li-Young Lee." Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 312: Asian

American Writers. A Bruccoli Clark Layman Book (2005): 202-206.

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited

Art & Culture. "The Gift- Li-Young Lee." Retrieved Nov. 28, 2007, at http://www.artandculture.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/AClive.woa/wa/artist?id=1084.

Conte, Joseph. "Li-Young Lee." Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 165: American

Poets Since World War II, Fourth Series. A Bruccoli Clark Layman Book (1996): 139-146.

Madsen, Deborah L. "Li-Young Lee." Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 312: Asian

Cite This Term Paper:

"Li-Young Lee The Gift The" (2007, November 28) Retrieved February 19, 2020, from
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/li-young-lee-the-gift-the-33907

"Li-Young Lee The Gift The" 28 November 2007. Web.19 February. 2020. <
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/li-young-lee-the-gift-the-33907>

"Li-Young Lee The Gift The", 28 November 2007, Accessed.19 February. 2020,
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/li-young-lee-the-gift-the-33907