For a Citizen of These United States Essay

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Kelly is an adjunct professor of creative writing and literature at Oakton Community College and an associate professor of literature and creative writing at College of Lake County and has written extensively for academic publishers. In this essay, Kelly explores the dark undertone to the poem, finding it to be an indictment of the immigrant experience.

It is far too tempting to read Li-Young Lee's poetry in terms of the biographical facts of his life. This is especially a problem in the case of a poem like "To a New Citizen of These United States," which includes a few details that can be confirmed as corresponding to the life the author has led. Like Lee, the speaker of this poem came to America long ago after a harrowing struggle against one or more oppressive political systems, a life of hiding from soldiers. But it is misleading to concentrate...

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This section contains 2,326 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the For a Citizen of These United States Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
For a Citizen of These United States from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.