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This Hour and What Is Dead

This Hour and What Is Dead

by Li-Young Lee

Exile Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #4

[…] his breath
of gasoline, airplane, human ash. (25-26)

Gasoline and airplanes call to mind travel, which is a form of escape. And the mention of human ash brings us face-to-face with death again, which is certainly one form of exile from life and the world, although not exactly a good one.

Quote #5

I've had enough of his love
that feels like burning and flight and running away. (32-33)

"Running away" says it quite clearly, and "flight," which calls back to the doves mentioned earlier in the poem, also makes us think of fleeing. The fact that our speaker wants nothing to do with God's love, and God's love is connected to flight and running away, makes the complicated nature of escape even more complicated. Why does God's love feel like escape? And if it does, then why does our speaker want to escape it?

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