Skip to main content
By Li-Young Lee

In the steamer is the trout   

seasoned with slivers of ginger,

two sprigs of green onion, and sesame oil.   

We shall eat it with rice for lunch,   

brothers, sister, my mother who will   

taste the sweetest meat of the head,   

holding it between her fingers   

deftly, the way my father did   

weeks ago. Then he lay down   

to sleep like a snow-covered road   

winding through pines older than him,   

without any travelers, and lonely for no one.


Li-Young Lee, “Eating Together” from Rose. Copyright © 1986 by Li-Young Lee. Reprinted with the permission of BOA Editions Ltd., www.boaeditions.org.

Source: Rose (BOA Editions Ltd., 1986)

  • Activities
  • Arts & Sciences
  • Living

Poet Bio

Li-Young Lee
The son of a personal physician of Mao Zedong, Li-Young Lee was born in Jakarta, Indonesia, to Chinese parents. After fleeing the country, the family settled in the United States in 1964. Li-Young Lee’s mother came from a noble family, with her grandfather serving as the first president of the Republic of China. Upon arriving in the U.S., Lee’s father became a Presbyterian minister in Pennsylvania. Lee’s poetry is filled with vivid imagery and creates an atmosphere of silence, much like the poems of China’s classical poets. His work often fades from reality into dream worlds, and is punctuated with an attention to the senses. See More By This Poet

More By This Poet

More Poems about Activities

Browse poems about Activities

More Poems about Arts & Sciences

Browse poems about Arts & Sciences

More Poems about Living

Browse poems about Living