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The Gift Analysis



Author: poem of Li-Young Lee Type: poem Views: 34

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To pull the metal splinter from my palm

my father recited a story in a low voice.

I watched his lovely face and not the blade.

Before the story ended, he'd removed

the iron sliver I thought I'd die from.



I can't remember the tale,

but hear his voice still, a well

of dark water, a prayer.

And I recall his hands,

two measures of tenderness

he laid against my face,

the flames of discipline

he raised above my head.



Had you entered that afternoon

you would have thought you saw a man

planting something in a boy's palm,

a silver tear, a tiny flame.

Had you followed that boy

you would have arrived here,

where I bend over my wife's right hand.



Look how I shave her thumbnail down

so carefully she feels no pain.

Watch as I lift the splinter out.

I was seven when my father

took my hand like this,

and I did not hold that shard

between my fingers and think,

Metal that will bury me,

christen it Little Assassin,

Ore Going Deep for My Heart.

And I did not lift up my wound and cry,

Death visited here!

I did what a child does

when he's given something to keep.

I kissed my father.






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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: :.

As a small child, the poet is unreasonably afraid that he is going to die from the wound caused by an iron splinter. So when his father manages to calm him down and distract him enough to remove the iron splinter so carefully that he feels no pain, he is naturally awestruck and fascinated. His father is a way taught him patience and to be confident in his work. It is often said that one might not necessarily remember the incident itself but the way certain people made him/her feel that is etched in his/her memory throughout their life. The father managed to instill a sort of a flame in him, so that several years later when the poet is all grown up, he manages, with his skill and tenderness to help his wife in the same way.

| Posted on 2017-08-04 | by a guest


.: :.

Perhaps the greatest "gift" of all is a genuine love and tenderness from people you trust or people who have reciprocated the love you gave. The first five lines of Lee's poem starts with a young boy fascinated and bewildered at the same time as his father pulls out a painstaking "metal splinter" out from his soft, child palms. The succeeding lines will tell us that he is remembering this inedible,significant memory that he will always remember until his adulthood.

| Posted on 2014-07-13 | by a guest


.: :.

In \"The Gift,\" Lee discusses two incidents involving the removal of a splinter from another\'s hand. When he describes removing a splinter from his wife\'s finger, he alludes to a skilled tenderness on his part: \"Look how I shave her thumbnail down / so carefully she feels no pain\".
When his father had removed a splinter from a younger Lee\'s palm, Lee responded with humble appreciation—he gave his father a kiss. Lee digresses—offering some more boastful, even humorous possible responses to having apprehended the removed splinter (\"Ore Going Deep for My Heart,\" \"Death visited here!\"), and reminding the reader that it is, in fact, he who grew into the adult who removed his wife\'s splinter. He, by modestly giving his father a kiss, suggests that a gift has merit solely on account of its being a gift—even if that gift is a removed splinter. What ultimately matters is not that Lee had been feeling pain, but that, at the moment he kissed his father, he presently beheld a gift from him.
Lee does not act particularly humble when removing his wife\'s splinter, however, even though his father was a physician—because, regardless of what this occasion had meant for him in the past, he was presently with his wife, able to give her the gift of relief. Lee has grown and matured; he is able to proudly identify with his giving father, rather than prolong his past identity as a receiving, humble child. ♥

| Posted on 2011-05-24 | by a guest


.: :.

In \"The Gift,\" Lee discusses two incidents involving the removal of a splinter from another\'s hand. When he describes removing a splinter from his wife\'s finger, he alludes to a skilled tenderness on his part: \"Look how I shave her thumbnail down / so carefully she feels no pain\".
When his father had removed a splinter from a younger Lee\'s palm, Lee responded with humble appreciation—he gave his father a kiss. Lee digresses—offering some more boastful, even humorous possible responses to having apprehended the removed splinter (\"Ore Going Deep for My Heart,\" \"Death visited here!\"), and reminding the reader that it is, in fact, he who grew into the adult who removed his wife\'s splinter. He, by modestly giving his father a kiss, suggests that a gift has merit solely on account of its being a gift—even if that gift is a removed splinter. What ultimately matters is not that Lee had been feeling pain, but that, at the moment he kissed his father, he presently beheld a gift from him.
Lee does not act particularly humble when removing his wife\'s splinter, however, even though his father was a physician—because, regardless of what this occasion had meant for him in the past, he was presently with his wife, able to give her the gift of relief. Lee has grown and matured; he is able to proudly identify with his giving father, rather than prolong his past identity as a receiving, humble child. ♥

| Posted on 2011-05-24 | by a guest




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