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Book of My Nights (American Poets Continuum) Hardcover – September 1, 2001
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Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
If you've never read Lee and are considering picking up this book, by all means do so. This is heart/gut wrenching poetry at its original best. This is poetry which makes poets think, "I wish I wrote that".
Every time I find myself ready to crown a single person the foremost voice in American poetry (the candidate at present being Charles Simic), a book comes along by some other author I've forgotten who relegates the candidate to a shortlist. He undermining principle today is Li-Young Lee's Book of My Nights. I'd read The City in Which I Love You some years ago, thought it wonderful, and then promptly forgotten about Lee, who is of that school of poets who releases a book every seven or eight years. This is his most recent, and it is fantastic.
The subgenre of poetry best classified as "zen koan poems" has been greatly denigrated in Western literature, thanks in no small part to a bunch of bad amateurs in the fifties and sixties whose work persists in the public memory to this day. (I'm sure I don't need to name names. It's that impenetrable merde you came across in various literary magazines and the like that made you think "what on earth is this person on about?") The zen koan makes you think, not dismiss. Li-Young Lee seems to have taken the unenviable task upon himself to return the poetic version of the zen koan to the literary heights which it by rights should hold, and in The Book of My Nights, he takes great steps toward that goal.
Centering, as one would surmise from the title, around such topics as dreams and insomnia, Book of My Nights showcases Lee's considerable prowess with putting together strings of words aimed at making the reader contemplate some question that has no definitive answer; either it is unanswerable or every person will have his own different answer to the question.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I certainly like some of the imagery he paints, but I just don't follow some of his poetry. Granted, English is not his first language and there are cultural differences so maybe... Read morePublished on February 5, 2014 by E. Myers
Very personal poems from a master poet. These poems are grounded in the person, but they are much more than biographical. The intuitive leaps and imagery are magical. Read morePublished on November 24, 2013 by Auntie Annie
I bought Book of my Nights at the urging of one of my most talented poetry critique friends, Lois P. Jones. It is a lovely little book, very nearly a chapbook. Read morePublished on November 18, 2008 by Carolyn Howard-Johnson
As a previous reviewer noted, the tone of this collection of poems is much more somber than his previous work. Read morePublished on May 4, 2008 by doc peterson