“From Blossoms” by Li-Young Lee was short but sweet. I don’t really know how to do a summary of it without adding my analysis so I’m going to combine them for this one blog.
In the first two stanzas the narrator is discussing peaches. I get the image of someone driving along, and stopping at one of those fruit stands you see by the side of the road throughout the spring and summer. The narrator discusses where the peaches come from, and how they eat them dust and all. I think these two stanzas paint a simple, but pleasant image. It makes me think of summer days, fresh air, and of course sweet juicy peaches.
The third stanza takes this simple image one step further. In these lines, I think Lee is trying to illustrate the wonderful moments in life. We all have points in our lives where we wish we could just freeze time, and make that moment a part of us forever. Lee states “O, to take what we love inside,/to carry within us an orchard, to eat/ not only the skin, but the shade,/ not only the sugar, but the days…” It is as if the narrator wants to take everything they love inside of them and keep it there; in the same way that eating the peach takes in every aspect of the fruit. Those moments that we love so much or hold so dearly can be powerful, and sometimes we wish we could do more that keep them as a memory that might someday fade away.
The final stanza basically brings things back in perspective. It shifts slightly away from the romanticism of the first two stanzas. It forces you to recognize that by hoping to remain in these sweet simple moments we are essentially in denial of the one thing that is guaranteed to all living beings, death. I think it is human nature to want to remain in the happy times, but is that truly our reality? It makes me think that Lee might be touching on the fact that death is “that which defines life” (...as the children in "The School" would say).