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  • Writer's pictureNora Curry

Poem of the Week: Eating Together


As we continue the celebratory observance of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, I'll be devoting space in the Poem of the Week to the recognition of the wonderful voices of Asian American poets. This week's poet, Li-Young Lee, was born in Indonesia and immigrated to America as a child. Lee has published numerous books of poetry that have garnered a wide variety of accolades. His work often addresses immigration and the family and culture that form his heritage, and he was influenced by classical Chinese poets, though his work veers in its own original direction. The following poem, "Eating Together," comes from his 1986 debut volume of poetry, Rose, which can be found on our selves at the Camden Public Library. Like many of Lee's poems, it interweaves nature and familial/cultural experience.


Eating Together


In the steamer is the trout seasoned with slivers of ginger, two sprigs of green onion, and sesame oil. We shall eat it with rice for lunch, brothers, sister, my mother who will taste the sweetest meat of the head,

holding it between her fingers deftly, the way my father did weeks ago. Then he lay down to sleep like a snow-covered road winding through pines older than him, without any travelers, and lonely for no one.


- Li-Young Lee

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Aug 03, 2021

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