Arise Go Down poem analysis tagged posts

Cancellation, Contradiction and Affirmation in Poet Li-Young Lee’s “Arise, Go Down”

It’s been more than a decade and 500+ posts since we last visited in this space the Chinese-rooted, Indonesian-born, American-raised (since age 7) poet Li-Young Lee and his much anthologized, gorgeous peach of a poem, “From Blossoms.” Fortunately, Lee, now 66, remains above ground and has continued to write in the intervening years. Even more fortunately for me, so have I.

So it was a happy accident last week when I came across his poetry again while looking for something else and got thoroughly distracted from whatever that something else was as I landed upon “Arise, Go Down.”

Unlike “From Blossoms” and its ecstatic, sense-drenched celebration of the peach-eating experience as a form of divinity, in “Arise, Go Down,” Lee explores more of the shadowy, yin-yang, to-and-fro of existence...

Read More