Introduction & Overview of Early in the Morning

This Study Guide consists of approximately 19 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Early in the Morning.
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Early in the Morning Summary & Study Guide Description

Early in the Morning Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Further Reading on Early in the Morning by Li-Young Lee.

Li-Young Lee's "Early in the Morning," was published in The American Poetry Review and later included in Lee's first collection of poems, Rose (1986). It is a four-stanza, free-verse poem written from the point of view of an adult looking back on his adolescence or late childhood and, like many of the collection's poems, reflects on Lee's complex relationship with his parents and his past. It is the sixth poem in the collection, coming right after "Dreaming of Hair," and contains many subjects and images typical of Lee's poetry, such as parentchild relationships, the importance of food, family rituals, and the act of watching. Like many of Lee's poems, it is told in the first person. Although the first two stanzas of the poem describe Lee's mother's ritual of combing her hair, in the second two stanzas the speaker zeroes in on the significance of the act to his father. Lee's father, a powerful, authoritarian, emotionally distant, and, at times, tender man, died in 1980, and Lee's early poems can be seen as an attempt to come to peace with his memories of him. Lee's voice is soft, almost sad, and his language direct and accessible. This poem serves as a useful introduction to Lee's work, as it describes an experience with which most people are familiar: watching and learning from their parents.

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This section contains 223 words
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Poetry for Students
Early in the Morning from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.