The Winged Seed: A Remembrance

The Winged Seed A Remembrance A personal account by the celebrated Chinese American poet offers a magical work of memory and myth that recounts a childhood of exile his father s imprisonment his discovery of the significance of

  • Title: The Winged Seed: A Remembrance
  • Author: Li-Young Lee
  • ISBN: 9781886913288
  • Page: 154
  • Format: Paperback
  • A personal account by the celebrated Chinese American poet offers a magical work of memory and myth that recounts a childhood of exile, his father s imprisonment, his discovery of the significance of history, and his search for identity.

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      Published :2020-012-24T11:29:15+00:00

    About “Li-Young Lee”

    1. Li-Young Lee

      Li Young Lee is an American poet He was born in Jakarta, Indonesia, to Chinese parents His great grandfather was Yuan Shikai, China s first Republican President, who attempted to make himself emperor Lee s father, who was a personal physician to Mao Zedong while in China, relocated his family to Indonesia, where he helped found Gamaliel University His father was exiled and spent a year in an Indonesian prison camp In 1959 the Lee family fled the country to escape anti Chinese sentiment and after a five year trek through Hong Kong, Macau, and Japan, they settled in the United States in 1964 Li Young Lee attended the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Arizona, and the State University of New York at Brockport.Lee attended the University of Pittsburgh, where he began to develop his love for writing He had seen his father find his passion for ministry and as a result of his father reading to him and encouraging Lee to find his passion, Lee began to dive into the art of language Lee s writing has also been influenced by classic Chinese poets, Li Bo and Tu Fu Many of Lee s poems are filled with themes of simplicity, strength, and silence All are strongly influenced by his family history, childhood, and individuality He writes with simplicity and passion which creates images that take the reader deeper and also requires his audience to fill in the gaps with their own imagination These feelings of exile and boldness to rebel take shape as they provide common themes for many of his poems.Li Young Lee has been an established Asian American poet who has been doing interviews for the past twenty years Breaking the Alabaster Jar Conversations with Li Young Lee BOA Editions, 2006, ed Earl G Ingersoll , is the first edited and published collection of interviews with an Asian American poet In this collection, Earl G Ingersoll asks conversational questions to bring out Lee s views on Asian American poetry, writing, and identity.

    758 thoughts on “The Winged Seed: A Remembrance”

    1. Is it a booklength poem? Is it a memoir? It's both, the best of both worlds from Chicago based poet Li-Young Lee. You'll hear echoes of Dylan Thomas in the prose "What is the night?" I read it several years ago, read it ever year or so. Magic.


    2. More than anything this was a remembrance of his father. But Lee is a poet, and this is also a memoir of his childhood in Jakarta, so it’s a poetic autobio/memoir. The poetry sings strongly in some sections, making the prose so dense that the book, although small, actually took me a long time to read. Some of the phrases are outright luminous. Some of the stories he told about his father were really shocking, for example the beatings contrasted with his pastorliness. A reader imagines his fath [...]


    3. A poetic memoir of poet Li-Young Lee's father who was imprisoned in Indonesia and escaped to Hong Kong and then to Pennsylvania to become a Presbyterian minister. Part thriller, part biography, part poem… through it we get to meet a man who is an admired and passionate spiritual leader and a tyrant. Fear and love fuel this tale, but mostly love. More than a tale of than factual accounting, it is more an evocation of associations and mystery, whereby it gains its strength and power. It's a tale [...]


    4. This is one of the most bizarre books I've ever read. At times the imagery, however inventive and beautiful, became so opaque that the plot seemed to have been traded in for a stream of consciousness-style poem. I love Lee's poetry, and it was interesting to learn about his upbringing, but I can see this one polarizing readers. I was definitely a fan, though.


    5. A poetic memoir that circles around themes of life and death, emigration and immigration, family and love. Don't expect a straightforward narrative; expect to be taken on a poetic journey into consciousness.


    6. What indeed is The Winged Seed, the poet Li-Young Lee's strangely important and nebulous memoir published in 1995? This is an ontological question as much as a phenomenological one.One is reminded of Lucretius's poem De Rerum Natura, whose existence as literary work and conveyance of the sometime banned ideas of Epicureanism, which gave us the earliest scientific surmise of atoms as constitutive of matter, owed its survival to its intrinsic beauty of form.‎ The Christian Church purged through [...]


    7. At times, it's a beautiful work, and his play with genre conventions is nice. When he slips into the modernist ramblings -- the "This Is Me Creating Art" moments -- he loses it a little.


    8. I like the author's poetry, but I'm not sure the whole stream of consciousness poetic language works as well in memoir. There were parts that I was completely lost, especially when personal pronouns aren't used.


    9. The book I read was The Winged Seed by Li Young Lee. This book was a non fiction/biography and the theme of the book was just because you come from a new place doesn’t mean you cant adjust to a new place. The Winged Seed was about a boy named Li Young Lee who moved from China to Chicago with his family. Lee talks about how his family was poor and how they didn’t have much food because his parents were not working. Li Young Lee had 3 siblings with him in Chicago and on stayed in China. His [...]


    10. A friend handed me this book after reading some of my poetry, saying that mine had reminded her of it. And I'm greatly flattered, because this is a beautiful book; although not technically poetry (in the sense that it's not written in verse), it's infused throughout with a poetic sensibility, that stream-of-consciousness imagery-laden style that so befits its subtitle of "a remembrance". The author presents a number of scenes with heartrending honesty, and although it takes a while, you start to [...]


    11. I appreciated his straightforward stories very much--his family's history in China and Indonesia, his parents' further-back history, his childhood in the U.S. He touches on some deeply personal things and family skeletons and also larger swaths of history that his family was caught up in. There's a lot of absurdity and cruelty in both, although his immediate family seems to have at least something of a kind center (even with the distance between himself and his father, when that kindness is dire [...]


    12. Fascinating memoir of poet Li-Young Lee, tracing his mother's roots as the granddaughter of former Chinese president Yuan Shi-kai, and his father's family's life in Beijing and Tianjin. Lee's parents relocate to Indonesia, where the father a university administrator and pastor. In 1959, the Indonesia government persecutes and kicks out its Chinese population. Li-Young's father had been imprisoned for 18 months, but found a lucky break when the family is sent from Java to Macau and is rescued at [...]


    13. Li's beautiful poetry is well represented in this memoir. However, because it IS a form of prose, its added length makes the memoir part a bit harder to uncover. The most interesting part of the memoir was the omnipresence of his father, along with all the god-like references. It's interesting that his father was a pastor, and played such an imposing role in Li's wife, including the title of the piece. I almost wish I had an explanation for all of this, some kind of poetic analysis for every lin [...]


    14. I saw Li-Young Lee in Denver in June and was intrigued by this poet. Actually I'm intrigued by all poets because I don't quite understand poetry. And he's an Asian-American poet from an immigrant family. This small book is a sort of stream of consciousness type memoir of his family's amazing journey from China to Indonesia to Hong Kong to Pennsylvania. But he never loses me as he jumps from one part of the world to another. And his metaphors--the seeds in his father's pocket--work like magic to [...]


    15. I didn't actually finish this because it was due at the library with no more renewals left. Never thought I'd be the one to say such a thing, but it was too poetical for me! Maybe if I hadn't just saturated myself in a lot of Li-Young Lee poetry I would have brought a fresher perspective and been more intrigued, but as it was . . . Or maybe it was because I was wrestling with home improvement crapola, a totally wrong environment for absorbing Lee's perspectives and ways of expressing himself. Wi [...]


    16. This is a wonderfully relaxing book to read. It is almost stream of consciousness. It works so well as a pairing with Lee's poetry. If you want to see how poems are born, I recommend this book. It also contains dreams and family history. What I enjoyed most was that I was able to get out of my own mind and into someone else's thoughts, yet I felt comfortable there. It's how I think as well. And it was so nice to run around in some one else's mind instead of my own. Thank you for the small vacati [...]


    17. We're conditioned with prose to expect a story, some sort of narrative, and when we don't get that, we don't know how to handle what we've read. This, I think, is the sticking point with lots of people over Lee's book--it looks like a memoir, but doesn't read that way. Instead, it's a remembrance, and like memory, it works in shifting, unstable moments. This is a great book if you're willing to support image and lyricism over narrative; if not, look out.


    18. It's a bit self-indulgent, but what autobiography isn't? This should be read by any fan of Lee's poetry/prose (I think this is the key to understanding his relationship with his father) or anybody interested in a unique perspective on the anti-Chinese sentiment following Indonesian independence. There are some truly heart-rending passages in here surrounded by a lot of poetspeak. Pick it up, it's a quick little read about an important voice in the world of poetry.


    19. This was a fascinating read. The author’s life is about as odd as I could ever conceive of - and he has written a memoir that captures the oddness of it. The writing of it would not be everyone’s cup of tea - but you can see that a poet wrote it. It is beautifully rendered even while being shockingly violent and dramatically woven.


    20. In a riddle scenario near the beginning of the novel, a seed tries to foil the knife by telling it unfathomable riddles, by hiding itself. Parts of memoir are riddling: Lee's language soars out of my ken, as if this revelatory kind of writing also needs some protective concealment. Other parts of the memoir are powerfully and sometimes horrifyingly concrete.Worth reading over again.


    21. At times fascinating, at times horrifying, at times bewildering, this is a memoir /poem that offers a distinctly Asian experience of family, tradition, identity, love and death. Some passages were dense with mystical and metaphorical questions, while others floated by on the wings of beautiful imagery. An interesting read.


    22. It's an odd book. Li-Young Lee tells powerful stories about when his family fled China and then Indonesia, then seemingly gets so overwhelmed recounting these and other hardships that he goes over into quite cryptic prose poetry. I love many of Li-Young Lee's poems; it's also true that I was glad to close the cover on this book.


    23. I didn't actually finish this yet, because I'm in the thick of the school year with more work than usual and daily migraines--consequently, I can't sit down and relish this book the way it begs to be read. I bought it, so I'll go back to it during the summer.


    24. The author has a fascinating story to tell; I was frustrated at times because he seemed to lapse into poetic ruminations about events rather than detailing the events themselves. The book left me rather unsatisfied, wishing he would have told more of his story.


    25. Took me three tries to read but overall I did like this book. Gems were buried in the opaque prose. Selective mute (hate that phrase), relationship with powerful father, abuses withstood, refugee and immigrant stages. interesting to me.


    26. I read this book when it was first released. When I was browsing through the book at the book store, it was recommended by a local Borders book staff member. I don't remember much about it from my initial read, but I'm curious what I get out of it when I read it again.



    27. Not for me/over my head. I'm not a big fan of poetry, so finishing this guy's poetic memoir, published without ever having been revised, caused me pain.


    28. Lee creates short vignettes of his childhood and ancestry, but much of this 200-page novel is really devoted to prose poetry. Don't read it if you're looking for a plot.


    29. I tried to read this book but could not finish it. I despise the prose style which is like one big undifferentiated poem. Some beautiful words and sentences but uchhh. sorry. love your poems though


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