Early in the Morning

Li-Young Lee’s poem “Early in the Morning” tells of what appears to be a mundane daily routine in the lives of a couple, but in the end there is this epiphany of a simple gesture and how that in itself shows a really tender and loving moment between the two. What also makes the poem interesting is it’s told from the perspective of one of their children.

At TEAM this week discussed the routine and the epiphany. What in these activities that we do actually have a deeper meaning to them. This was also an exercise in using descriptive language and images. In Lee’s poem we get a lot of colors, specific foods, and similes, I challenged the students to think about their routines in the same way. It didn’t have to be a routine that they did, but one that happens in their house and to be as specific as possible, and in the end to find a new meaning to those things. Below is an example from one of the students. Followed by a link to the Li-Young Lee poem at the Poetry Foundation.

Ms. Henley
9th Grade (8th Period)

Juwon D.

Every morning I wake up
I do the same routine.
First I wake up
and take a long hot shower.
Then I put on my clothes
lotion and finally
I go to the bathroom
to brush my teeth.

Li-Young Lee “Early in the Morning”



“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.