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Li-Young Lee

Pillow There’s nothing I can’t find under there. Voices in the trees, the missing pages of the sea. Everything but sleep. And night is a river bridging the speaking and listening banks, a fortress, undefended and inviolate. There’s nothing that won’t fit under it: fountains clogged with mud and leaves, the houses of my childhood.… Continue reading Li-Young Lee

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Shinkichi Takahashi

The wind blows hard among the pines Toward the beginning Of an endless past. Listen: you’ve heard everything. — Shinkichi Takahashi, “Wind Among The Pines,” Where We Are: Selected Poems and Zen Translations. Editor & Trans. Lucien Stryk (Skoob Books, 1997)

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

Li-Young Lee

Once, years back, I walked beside my father among the windfall pears. I can’t recall our words. We may have strolled in silence. But I still see him bend that way—left hand braced on knee, creaky—to lift and hold to my eye a rotten pear. In it, a hornet spun crazily, glazed in slow, glistening… Continue reading Li-Young Lee

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

Li-Young Lee

the lovers’ voices and the voices of the beloved are the ocean’s legion scaling earth’s black bell, their bright crested foam the rudimentary beginnings of bridges and wings, the dream of flying, and the yearning to cross over. — Li-Young Lee, from “The Undressing,” The Undressing: Poems (W. W. Norton Company, 2018)

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