On Saturday, I read an evocative poem by Li-Young Lee on Teresa Evengeline’s blog. It not only had me longing for fresh peaches, but yearning to read more of Lee’s poems. This morning, another of Lee’s poems appeared in my inbox. I truly enjoy my daily messages from The Writer’s Almanac and include this second poem below, which I have copied directly from the posting. If you click onto Li-Young Lee’s name, you will be linked to other poems by Lee.
Isn’t it grand when these wonderful awakenings come in pairs, or trios, or whole tribes to awaken our senses, introduce us to someone or something new, challenge us to learn more? I’m excited to learn more about this poet who is new to me and hope you will enjoy this poem as well as we celebrate Mother’s Day here in the States.
I Ask My Mother to Sing
by Li-Young Lee
She begins, and my grandmother joins her.
Mother and daughter sing like young girls.
If my father were alive, he would play
his accordion and sway like a boat.
I’ve never been in Peking, or the Summer Palace,
nor stood on the great Stone Boat to watch
the rain begin on Kuen Ming Lake, the picnickers
running away in the grass.
But I love to hear it sung;
how the waterlilies fill with rain until
they overturn, spilling water into water,
then rock back, and fill with more.
Both women have begun to cry.
But neither stops her song.