Author Archives: Elaina Perpelitt

Behind My Eyes by Li-Young Lee

Li-Young Lee’s fifth book of poetry, Behind My Eyes, is a tender hymn to the hardships of his childhood, expertly combining the feelings of an adult who’s seen too much of the world with the innocence of a child who doesn’t understand the world’s injustice.

He opens with a poem entitled “In His Own Shadow,” and one gets the feeling he is talking about himself in the third person. The boy in the poem is affected by the line: “While all bodies share the same fate, all voices do not,” and it is this line that carries interest into the following poetry.

The story that follows this boy, possibly Lee himself, is there, but detached and only seen in glimpses throughout a medley of emotions. His style is somewhat jerky, not only in transition from poem to poem, but from line to line. Continue reading

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