American Literature · Asian Culture · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Excerpt · Fragment · Passage · Poetry

Li-Young Lee

Memory revises me.
Even now a letter
comes from a place
I don’t know, from someone
with my name,
and postmarked years ago, while I await
injunctions from the light
or the dark;
I wait for shapeliness
limned, or dissolution.
Is paradise due or narrowly missed
until another thousand years?

I wait
in a blue hour
and faraway noise of hammering,
and on a page a poem begun, something
about to be dispersed,
something about to come into being.

— Li-Young Lee, from “Furious Versions,” The City in Which I Love You (BOA Editions Ltd., 1990)

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