Poem Analysis: A Story By Li-Young Lee

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In the poem “A Story” by Li- Young Lee, the audience is introduced to the intricate relationship between the father and the son. There is an obvious internal conflict ongoing within the father’s thoughts; the father desperately wants to tell his son a story but cannot come up with one. The author highlights the altering views held by the father and the son through the use of shifting points of view and the intended structure. These two devices adeptly establish the poem’s profundity and intensity of emotions; moreover, it brings light to a common battle that evolving filial relations face against time; as innocence eventuates into maturity, parents inevitably feel helpless and nostalgic. A key element of this poem is the purposeful structure…show more content…
The son’s point of view remains a simplistic and natural one; a five year old with “a boy’s supplication” for a story. The boy view’s his father as “Baba,” a storyteller who entertains his child with stories. The son feels affectionate towards his father and patiently sits in his lab and asking “Not the same story, Baba. A new one.” The child views his father as an entertainer and his father is his comfort zone. The father, on the other hand, overwhelmed by joy and grief becomes oblivious of the present and travels into the future. His lost of thought rests in his inability to “come up with one.” The action of “the man rubbing his chin, scratching his ear” confirms the speculation that he is lost amid in the future, unable to satisfy the present. He thinks that “the boy will give up on his father” and all these fragments of gloomy thoughts incites feelings of unfulfilled desires and inevitable parting.” The author strategically creates this contrast between the points of view due highlight the boy’s eager await and his father’s internal conflict, whose thoughts bring into the light his affectionate relationship with his son, whom he is afraid to lose one
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