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The City in Which I Love You (American Poets Continuum) Paperback


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Frequently Bought Together

The City in Which I Love You (American Poets Continuum) + Rose (New Poets of America) + Book of My Nights: Poems (American Poets Continuum, 68)
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Product Details

  • Series: American Poets Continuum (Book 20)
  • Paperback: 89 pages
  • Publisher: BOA Editions Ltd.; 1 edition (June 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0918526833
  • ISBN-13: 978-0918526830
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #343,940 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

These "evocative, mysterious [poems] emphasize the immigrant sensibility." Lee may soon be one of our best poets.
- emphasize the immigrant sensibility." Lee may soon be one of our best poets.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

Arise, Go Down
The City In Which I Love You
The Cleaving
A Final Thing
For A New Citizen Of These United States
Furious Versions: 1
Furious Versions: 2
Furious Versions: 3
Furious Versions: 4
Furious Versions: 5
Furious Versions: 6
Furious Versions: 7
Goodnight
Here I Am
The Interrogation
My Father, In Heaven, Is Reading Out Loud
A Story
This Hour And What Is Dead
This Room And Everything In It
The Waiting
With Ruins
You Must Sing
-- Table of Poems from Poem Finder®

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 26, 1998
Format: Paperback
I thought this book was excellent and really brought out the history of the poet's life. You have to know a little bit about the poet in order to fully appreciate the meaning behind these poems. These poems seem very chronological and carries the reader through a cycle of life which the poet has experienced while growing up. These poems are based mostly on the poet's family (first his parents and then his own family). Lee shows how he has become a father and a husband by learning from his own father. In the beginning the reader feels the poet's suffering as his family continuously tries to escape. The poet then takes the reader to America. The poems about his wife and first child are very romantic. It is obvious that he is madly in love with them and is actually awed by them. I felt that the poet was expressing his awe in many things: his awe in the strength of his parents, his awe in the beauty of his wife, his awe in the innocence of his children, his awe in change, and his awe in everything that he has become and all that he has experienced. Lee's stories are very unique and center around the events of his life. I felt that the overall tone of this book was desperate and I think it can be seen that the poet is perhaps struggling to come to terms with himself and all that he has been through. A deep and complicated history is unleashed through these poems.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By adead_poet@hotmail.com on March 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
Lee's second collection of poems is different from his other collections. the poems are longer and centered around his personal history more than the other two. This collection isn't as strong as his first _Rose_ or latest _Book of My Nights_ but still is a strong collection.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By doc peterson VINE VOICE on February 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
I was first introduced to Li Young Lee through his collection _Rose_ . The sensuousness of his writing and the vivid language he uses immeadiately struck a chord with me. _The City in Which I Love You_ has the same tangible elements that move me. I was less moved with Lee's poetry about his father and his immigration.

The opening poem, "Furious Versions" was almost overwhelming as Lee retells his families history - fleeing one country for another, fearing for their lives, uncertain of their futures. Its intensity left me breathless and, frankly, uncomfortable. This narrative thread runs through the remainder of the poems collected here, which made for an emotionally exhausting read. Many of Lee's poems are about or relate to his relationship with his father - "A Story" (about a father telling a bedtime story to his son) and "A Final Thing" are the only respites from what otherwise are fairly heavy pieces.

Its said that you aren't really free until your parents have passed away. Given the ghosts with which Lee wrestles with in his poetry, the sense of longing and loss, I'm not sure that statement is true. _The City In Which I Love You_ is dense, powerful and left me emotionally wrung out. I remain a fan of Lee's, but _Rose_ remains far and away my favorite collection of his work.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 15, 1999
Format: Paperback
ok. where do i start?
i love it. i mean, i think i may have liked Rose better, and Winged Seed was good (rather densely packed in history) but there's something about an author's first book that makes you stop in the middle of reading, look up, and suddenly feel overwhelmingly in awe.
the way i feel about the book has to do with my being asian american i suppose. works by asian americans aren't as abundant as other people's, so i guess i devour books of this type because of their rarity and in this case, quality as well.
i guess i'm not feeling too eloquent right now but what i'm trying to say is that Lee conveys his messages of joy and sorrow (corny, i know) in a beautiful and personal manner and he deserves to be recognized as a prominent author of not only his labeled "asian american" genre but of ALL literature (which he's pretty much accomplished by now)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Haugh TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 1, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The themes and tone of this volume of Mr. Lee's poetry is caught right away in the lengthy poem that is the entirety of Part I, "Furious Versions." His work is profoundly influenced by the loss of his father and the flight from their homeland. As he writes: "...a rose/rattles at my ear, where/is your father?/And the silent house/booms, Gone. Long gone." And, again, later, "...bodies drift out, farther out./My father holds my hand, he says,/Don't forget any of this." Almost a command from the father for the son to become the poet he has.

Fortunately for us, Mr. Lee decide to record his recollections in poetry and his losses have lead to some great writing. "Furious Versions" has some wonderful sections with great peaks of imagery. Following the lines quoted above, there is a burst of violence so sudden and subtle that I had to reread it to make sure that Mr. Lee wasn't giving us the moment of his father's death. But, in fact, that is to come. Later in the poem, he writes of an fascinating encounter with a blind man on the street in America who his father had helped twenty years ago in another country, another world, before leaving his sons behind him. It is an excellent poem.

More of Mr. Lee's relationship with his father is worked out as the book progresses. Some high points are poems like "The Interrogation," "My Father, in Heaven, Is Reading Out Loud," "A Story," and "Here I Am." And, though the poems come across as highly personal, he does find those necessary universals of the father/son relationship that resonate with the reader.

Ultimately, as a collection, however, the whole seems slightly less than its individual parts. The themes are so relentless that reading the poems straight through can seem like striking a single note too hard whereas it's difficult to find fault with the individual poems. When coming back to read this, as I'm sure I will, it will perhaps be better to dip into spots than take it in its entirety.
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