Sad is the man who is asked for a story
and can't come up with one.
His five-year-old son waits in his lap.
Not the same story, Baba. A new one.
The man rubs his chin, scratches his ear.
In a room full of books in a world
of stories, he can recall
not one, and soon, he thinks, the boy
will give up on his father.
Already the man lives far ahead, he sees
the day this boy will go. Don't go!
Hear the alligator story! The angel story once more!
You love the spider story. You laugh at the spider.
Let me tell it!
But the boy is packing his shirts,
he is looking for his keys. Are you a god,
the man screams, that I sit mute before you?
Am I a god that I should never disappoint?
But the boy is here. Please, Baba, a story?
It is an emotional rather than logical equation,
an earthly rather than heavenly one,
which posits that a boy's supplications
and a father's love add up to silence.
Li-Young Lee's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (A Story by Li-Young Lee )
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
(5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(25 July 1956)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
Harivansh Rai Bachchan
(27 November 1907 – 18 January 2003)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
- Thanks for Remembering Us, Dana Gioia
- I Am the Only Being Whose Doom, Emily Jane Brontë
- Tarantella, Hilaire Belloc
- Gratefulness, Joseph T. Renaldi
- Jiske Dhun Par Duniya Nache, Kumar Vishwas
Poem of the Day
- Sonnet: The Awesome Creator, Dr John Celes
- Sashay, Cee Bea
- Snakes are snakes always, gajanan mishra
- Sonnets Uncorseted, Maxine Kumin
- Sky, mina lotfi
- Where are my children, gajanan mishra
- Winter Festival Chant, Luo Zhihai
- A Humble Heroine, Max Plowman
- Dear Amy Nehzooukammyatootill, Aimee Nezhukumatathil
- I fear a foolish, gajanan mishra