I discovered Li-Young Lee in college, when I was obsessed with his second book The City In Which I Love You, the title poem of which still rings in my head on a regular basis (well, lines from it, anyway). He writes a lot about memory and family and Chinese culture, among other things. He also writes marvelously about food. I was tempted to put up his wonderful poem “Persimmons” here, but it’s long for a blog post, so I’ll just link you to it instead in case you’re interested. In the meantime, here’s another really lovely one from his first book, Rose, perfect for the season. I hope it both makes you hungry and brings you a moment of calm in the pre-holiday hustle.
Eating TogetherIn the steamer is the troutseasoned 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 willtaste the sweetest meat of the head,holding it between her fingersdeftly, the way my father didweeks ago. Then he lay downto sleep like a snow-covered roadwinding through pines older than him,without any travelers, and lonely for no one.