Free American Literature Analysis Essay Sample


Li-Young Lee is a poet who inherited his background in poetry from his father.  Lee discovers his origin in the line of poetry using poems to tell stories about his past life experiences. Lee focuses on poetic themes from his American background. Her examples tell about life in America as recorded in his memory. Lee’s belonging is shown in his preoccupation with the loss of his origin and with memories. Lee’s poetry is based on Asia American reading since the poetry is easily understandable. Essay Theories are realized in the Lee’s Poetry. The Individual and traditional talents are part of Young Lee’s Poetry. Lee recognizes that the present society is different from old days. He uses poetry to teach morals to the present generation. Lee poems have categories his poems into reality and memory domains. The misunderstanding of memory in her poems is used to arrive at sense of origin that refurbishes his faith in a fundamental meaning of reality. Lee applied various styles that most poetic works use. The following is the analysis of Lee’s Poem "Furious Versions" and “The Cleaving.

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Memory is an act of interpreting the past. Despite memory being inconsistent and illogical with time, Lee’s poetry is full of memories. He applied his poet by relating his past lifestyle to the present. It is true that some past lifestyles clash with what is culturally accepted today.  As shown in the poem “Furious Versions,” Lee tells that “Memory revises me.” This is a clear indication that lee’s Poetry has much to do with the memories. He tried to live a life that his father led. Lee’s father was also a poet. Lee’s Poetry has an indication that he needs consistent nutrition from its re-forming power. Lee wanted his life to be directed with the god-like influence. The reliance on memory illustrates mythical depth that Lee reached. Lee uses memories to define himself as well as his audience. Lee moved from “snowbound church” to what he logically concluded as this year of birth. The “Furious Versions” poem illustrates that Lee was born in was born in 1958 at Bandung.

Use of Symbols

Symbolism in a poet entails the use on a given object to symbolize another item or to communicate a meaning. Christianity as a Symbol-Background always shapes the thoughts of an individual. Lee has a Christian back ground and as a result, his poetic work also lies in the Christian beliefs. Most of Lee’s themes and examples speak well of Christianity. In his poem “Furious Versions,” uses the term refined by fire. This term is very common in Christian circles to mean purification or a maturity process of an item.  Lee has used the word as a phase in his poem. Lee benefited from the bible readings that were done at home due to the Christian background. During the interview, Lee reveals how he liked the phases in the bible to an extent that he wanted to pass the same even to the current and future generation.

The use of flowers in Lee’s Furious Versions is aimed at communicating love in the poem. The words doomed profane flower is targeted for a romantic audience. Lee uses this symbol to mean the love.

Memory has been symbolized as Water in the ‘Furious Versions’ as follows: “To think of the sea…is to hear in the sound of trees my memory, my traverse of sea one way to here… far from water, I’m full of the sound of water.”

Dead Poet ghosts

This one of the style that Lee has highlighted in the poem ‘Furious Versions’ Lee has a dreamlike walk across his hometown street. In lees walk, he met Li Bai and Du Fu, ancient Chinese poets. These were to reveal the origin of Lee, inheritance from the father’s poetic act. Lee elaborates how he had a cyclical connection, a father-son relationship.

Plain Speech

The use of plain language in poetry is evident in Lee’s articles to enable readers follow him at first glance. Plain speech is always understandable by most of the readers. Lee’s background of being a protestant justifies more his plain language use. He uses examples such as the soul that would be transplanted. Such expressions are common in protestant church affiliations. This is because Greek mythology of Western tradition, the bible and the Shakespeare have direct influence on the poetry of Lee. In the interview, Lee reveals how the poem “Furious Versions” came to imagination from the bible and the Whiteman. The following are some of the influences of Lee as he mentioned during the interview: the epistles of St. Paul, the Tang, the book of Genesis, Han dynasty poets and the Whitman. For instance, Lee says in the ‘The Cleaving’, “I would eat Emerson, his transparent soul, his / soporific transcendence” .  This line expresses the illusion of the bible as used by Lee.


Lee has applied a lot of illusion in his work. “Furious Versions” shows how Lee leaves his will to Christianity for God’s guidance. “Lee urged that if it took the presence of God and his divine intervention to survive the past then the same should be extended to the present and eventually to the future through his poetic passion.

Use of Dialogue

Dialogue is an act where one does communicate with the second participant. Lee applies this style in his poem ‘Furious Versions.’ During the interview, he termed ‘Furious Versions’ a personal thing. He said, “And I think that was the beginning for me of a very personal dialogue with poetic consciousness.” Lee always established a dialogue between his poetic heritage and himself.

Series Poetic

This is a style that normally exists in the movies. Lee is not an exception neither in the use of series. He applied series style in his poem ‘Furious Versions’ that has seven segments. Series style means that one poem has sections which are all interconnected and flow to communicate the intended message in bits. The next section of a poem is related to another. The series segments tell the same story. The parts of the ‘Furious Versions’ are not connected by linear ordering, rather, by the continual refinement of the initial idea. This means that the next segment continues explaining what was contained in the previous section. Lee had forty or fifty drafts of ‘Furious Versions’ as confirmed during the interview.

Use of American Tradition

“Furious Version” poem shows the restoration of the American traditional memories as put into practice. Lee’s poetry work reveals much on American traditions that is not destined to any sole cultures. Rather, American tradition is explained in Lee’s day to day life examples.

Misinterpretation of Asian American Literature

Lee’s poetry work shows how he misinterpreted the literature of Asian American. From the interview, Lee does not consider himself proficient on the subject neither as an Asian American Poet. “I’m not very well-read at all, in general.  I’m a very slow reader,” asserts Lee in his poem. Lee sees Marilyn Chen among the many artists. He feels that his writing does not meet the set standards for American audience. Most of Lee’s examples are religious because of his protestant upbringing.


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