The I of changes, the destroying I, the its of the I

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


John Yau's poetry is characterized by a poetics of resistance from the position of the other. "I, who was and is one of Them, do not want to become one of Us," states Yau in his essay "Between the Forest and Its Trees" (1994 "Trees" 43).1 In an earlier version of the same essay Yau writes: "I am interested in what lies beyond reason, what is irreducible. Not the theme, not the subject⋯. Why not begin with music, its meaning? The music of the voices of the boys you do not want to hear again,⋯. The young woman's silence, which continues. Why not begin with words whose music disturbs, music whose words disturb?" (1993 "Trees" 187-88). Yau's poetics is grounded in his belief in "Writing as an attempt to hear the Other, the Others," and "as a form of attention and responsibility" (1994 "Trees" 41).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Ethics and Poetics of Alterity in Asian American Poetry
PublisherUniversity of Iowa Press
Number of pages33
ISBN (Print)9780877459828
StatePublished - 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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