© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Immigrant Blues

Immigrant Blues

by Li-Young Lee

Immigrant Blues Analysis

Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Form and Meter

This poem doesn't follow any strict form or rhyme scheme. Which means we can go right ahead and lump it into the great big category of free verse. Still, while we're in a section called "Form and M...

Speaker

We'll just come out and say it: we're pretty sure our speaker is the poet, Li-Young Lee. Why do we think that? Well, because he pretty much came out and said it. But even if we didn't know anything...

Setting

Aside from a telephone, this poem contains nothing but our speaker's thoughts, some names for an experience, and a couple of conversations between people. And aside from the woman's legs, we don't...

Sound Check

"Immigrant Blues" blends a bunch of different voices. We have the seriousness of the father and the almost childish simplicity of our speaker's question, "Am I inside you?". We have the existential...

What's Up With the Title?

The way we see it, the first word of the title gives us our topic and the second word gives us the mood. "Immigrant" tells us that this poem is going to tackle the immigrant experience one way or a...

Calling Card

Li-Young Lee likes to name things. He also rarely seems satisfied with just one name, so he'll give the same thing or experience a number of titles. Sometimes we see it through metaphor, like in "T...

Tough-o-Meter

"Immigrant Blues" can get a little tricky, we're not going to lie. There are some mysterious lines and musings about the body and soul in here and some pretty deep stuff to contemplate. Because we'...

Trivia

In case you're wondering what his connection to the "Immigrant Blues" is, it might help to know that Li-Young Lee is an immigrant himself, a couple times over. He was born in Jakarta in 1957, to Ch...

Steaminess Rating

This is not a very sexual poem, but our speaker is lying between a woman's legs at one point, asking… well, if you're old enough, you can read it in the poem.

Allusions

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement