Poem for a Tuesday — “From Blossoms” by Li-Young Lee
From blossoms comes
this brown paper bag of peaches
we bought from the boy
at the bend in the road where we turned toward
signs painted Peaches.
From laden boughs, from hands,
from sweet fellowship in the bins,
comes nectar at the roadside, succulent
peaches we devour, dusty skin and all,
comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.
O, to take what we love inside,
to carry within us an orchard, to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
the round jubilance of peach.
There are days we live
as if death were nowhere
in the background; from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.
in 180 More Extraordinary Poems for Every Day, New York: Random House, 2005, page 143.
Li-Young Lee is a poet, essayist and memoirist. His work is marked by the spare elegance of traditional Chinese poets and the mystical edge of Eliot, Keats, and Rilke. He thoughtfully and sensitively explores themes of family, spirituality, and belonging. Lee’s family fled political persecution in China and Indonesia before emigrating to the United States, where his father attended seminary and became a Presbyterian minister. As a student at the University of Pittsburgh, Lee began writing poetry and discovered his life’s work. He received the American Book Award for his lyrical memoir The Wingéd Seed: A Remembrance. In an interview with Tina Chang of the American Academy of Poets, Lee reflected, “If you rigorously dissect it, you realize that everything is a shape of the totality of causes. What’s another name for the totality of causes? The Cosmos. So, everything is a shape of Cosmos or God. It feels like something bigger than me—that I can’t possibly fathom but am embedded in.”