Poetry as Salvation

by Luanne

Lee Herrick has a poem in Perpetual Child: Dismantling the Stereotype (Adult Adoptee Anthology) called “Salvation.”

In this poem, Herrick, a Korean adoptee with two published poetry collections and poems published in numerous literary journals and magazines, borrows the language of African-American Blues music.

He writes:

The blues means

finding a song

in the abandonment, one

#

you can sing in the middle

of the night when you

remember that your Korean name,

Lee Kwang Soo, means bright

light, something that can illuminate

or shine, like tears,

little drops of liquefied God,

#

glistening down your brown face.

By focusing on the sad and resilient music created from loss, the poem creates a poignancy more powerful than any storytelling.

I love the poem so much that I sought out more of Herrick’s writing–his “Blues songs.”

On his website, he shares these poems:

Four Poems and a Self-Interview, Kin Poetry Journal, 2013.

“Gardening Secrets of the Dead,” Tending the Speculative, Asian American Writers’ Workshop, 2013

“Self-Portrait” and “Kwi Ch’on,” Mascara Literary Review, 2012

“Van Gogh Writes to Gauguin” and “Focus Theory,” Pebble Lake Review, with audio, 2012

Because literary poetry like Herrick’s has such a small readership, I was thrilled to find his poem in the adult adoptee anthology. I hope more people will seek out more of his work. It should be read by everyone involved with adoption.

 

 

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