Thursday, April 23, 2009

BlissBlissBliss: Hearing a Poet Read His Work in Person

Li-Young Lee awaiting his time at the podium.
(LOVE that topknot!)

Erie may be a small city, but we still get our share of wonderful and having the opportunity to listen to a poet of Li-Young Lee's caliber read his work aloud was one of those moments when you are just thankful.

Thankful to have known he was coming.

Thankful to be able to get there.

Thankful to be breathing in the same space in which he is speaking.

Marcy and I went, along with writing group's Anne of Green Gables and the library's Miss Kitten (as we love to call her).

Toward the end, a stanza from his poem Virtues of the Boring Husband (from his most recent collection) really struck me:

Then, to surrender any sense of an I
is to feel our true condition, a You
before God, and to be seen.

I got it! This is the beauty of poetry. All the reading and studying of mysticism and so succinctly he puts all the theories about oneness and ego and surrender and emptiness into three short lines.

Poets and mystics and prophets. What would we be without them?


lucy said...

i'm going to sit and ponder those three lines, but...i think i may love them :-)

what a fabulous treat to hear a poet read their own words! lucky girl, you.

Val said...


Thank you.

Rowena said...

Li-Young Lee! I saw him read when I was in college. He was very good.

Claudia Olivos and Sergio OlivosM said...

nice. we were lucky to be present when about 12 Latin American poets participated in the annual poetry Latino Marathon here in DC.
We are lucky!
Reading about your excitment makes me morecertain that I need to think (no, I need to "do") read my own poems out loud!
Also..the top knot on his head! Must show my hubs Sergio who has a pony tail and I was just telling him to wear it in a knot!

differenceayearmakes said...

Poetry speaks

from and to

such a deep place within us

giving voice

to those and that

which have no other expression