I Ask My Mother to Sing is a poem by Li-Young Lee. In the poem, the speaker asks their mother to sing a song from her homeland. The speaker reflects on how their mother’s singing has always been a source of comfort and connection for them.
The poem “I Ask My Mother to Sing” by Li-Young Lee, written in 1986, tells the story of immigrants.Lee himself is an immigrant who came to the United States with his family in 1959 to escape persecution. In his poem, Lee captures the pain and sadness immigrants feel as they try to remain connected to their homeland. The title itself says a lot about the poem; however, its meaning becomes clear later on.
The poem is in three stanzas; the first two have four lines each, while the last has six. The poem opens with the speaker asking his mother to sing, she sings a song from her homeland. The speaker then asks her to teach him the song. The second stanza see’s the speaker reflecting on his childhood and how he remembers his mother singing the song to him. He also reflects on how he wishes he had paid more attention to her and learnt the words to the song.
The final stanza is significant as it shows the regret of not being able to connect with his homeland as he can’t understand or sing the song. This final stanza also makes clear what the title means, by having his mother sing her homeland is brought to him, even if only for a moment.
The poem is significant as it gives readers a glimpse into the life of immigrants. It also highlights the importance of family and connection to ones culture and homeland.
Li-Young Lee’s “I Ask My Mother to Sing” is a powerful poem that tells the immigrant story. Through the speaker, Li-Young Lee captures the pain and sadness immigrants face as they try to remain connected to their homeland. The poem is significant as it gives readers a glimpse into the life of immigrants and highlights the importance of family and connection to one’s culture and homeland.
When Lee discusses water and waterlilies, he appeals to the senses. He refers to how much he enjoys hearing stories about waterlilies filling with rain and then rebounding before overflowing again. When one reads these lines, it’s as if the reader could hear the sound of rain, see the waterlilies, and feel the rocking motion.
This is an excellent example of how Li-Young Lee uses sensory images to create a vivid picture for the reader. The poem I Ask My Mother to Sing is about a son who asks his mother to sing him a song from her homeland. The speaker in the poem is Li-Young Lee and the poem is narrated in first person point of view. The poem is set in present day and takes place in the United States, specifically in New York City.
Li-Young Lee was born in Jakarta, Indonesia in 1957 to Chinese parents who were political exiles. When he was three years old, his family moved to Seoul, South Korea and then later to Hong Kong before immigrating to the United States when Li-Young Lee was nine years old. Li-Young Lee grew up in the United States and attended college at the University of Pittsburgh where he earned his BA, MA, and PhD.
Li-Young Lee is a poet who often writes about his Chinese heritage and immigrant experience. His poem I Ask My Mother to Sing is about his nostalgia for his mother’s homeland and the songs she used to sing to him when he was a child. The poem consists of three stanzas, each containing six lines. The first two stanzas are written in free verse, while the third stanza is written in rhyming couplets.
In the first stanza, Li-Young Lee asks his mother to sing him a song from her homeland. He remembers how she used to sing to him when he was a child and how the songs made him feel. The second stanza is a series of questions that the speaker asks about his mother’s homeland.
He wonders what it looks like and if the people there are happy. In the third stanza, Li-Young Lee compares his mother’s homeland to a place that he knows, New York City. He talks about how different the two places are, but how they both make him feel at home.
Li-Young Lee’s poem I Ask My Mother to Sing is a beautiful and moving poem about nostalgia, memory, and loss. The poem captures the feeling of longing for something that is just out of reach. Li-Young Lee’s use of sensory images and comparisons create a vivid picture of his mother’s homeland and the emotions that he feels.
The position where one starts–for instance, their nation of origin or the city they grew up in–has a huge impact on someone’s life. The original experiences and memories from these places teach lessons that shape an individual’s character forever, as Mr. Lee demonstrates through his poem “I Ask My Mother to Sing.” It is clear that his parents and grandparents have been influenced greatly by their past home in China.
The poem contains many Chinese references such as the “Ming vase” and “silk fan”. Mr. Lee also mentions his father a few times throughout the poem. From these details, it can be gathered that Li-Young Lee was either born in China or has very recent ancestors from there. It is because of this connection to China that makes Mr. Lee so interested in his culture and wanting to know more about it.
Furthermore, the poem itself is a way for Li-Young Lee to connect with his mother and father on a deeper level. He does this by speaking to them in their native language and asking them to sing him a song from when they were children. This act not only shows great respect for his elders but also a deep appreciation for his culture.
Although Li-Young Lee was not born in China, the poem “I Ask My Mother to Sing” demonstrates how strong of an impact one’s starting position can have on their life. The poem shows the immense value that Li-Young Lee places on his connection to China and his family. It is this connection that has shaped him into the person he is today.