This Hour and What Is Dead
by Li-Young Lee
This Hour and What Is Dead Summary
Up late one night, our narrator hears or imagines sounds above him in the house. He thinks about his brother, who is dead. He experiences restlessness and his brother's love. His train of thought leads him to contemplate the relationship between the living and the dead. He longs for peace for his brother and for himself.
He then goes through a similar train of thought regarding his father, thinking about his father's love and the power of it (as well as its imperfection). Our narrator again makes a plea for peace, for his father and for himself.
Finally, he follows the same pattern of thought, but this time contemplating God, and God's love, which can be powerful and contradictory according to our speaker. He ends by asking for peace from God's love, which just won't leave the poor guy alone.