Poetry as Salvation

by Luanne

Lee Herrick has a poem in Perpetual Child: Dismantling the Stereotype (Adult Adoptee Anthology) called “Salvation.”

In this poem, Herrick, a Korean adoptee with two published poetry collections and poems published in numerous literary journals and magazines, borrows the language of African-American Blues music.

He writes:

The blues means

finding a song

in the abandonment, one


you can sing in the middle

of the night when you

remember that your Korean name,

Lee Kwang Soo, means bright

light, something that can illuminate

or shine, like tears,

little drops of liquefied God,


glistening down your brown face.

By focusing on the sad and resilient music created from loss, the poem creates a poignancy more powerful than any storytelling.

I love the poem so much that I sought out more of Herrick’s writing–his “Blues songs.”

On his website, he shares these poems:

Four Poems and a Self-Interview, Kin Poetry Journal, 2013.

“Gardening Secrets of the Dead,” Tending the Speculative, Asian American Writers’ Workshop, 2013

“Self-Portrait” and “Kwi Ch’on,” Mascara Literary Review, 2012

“Van Gogh Writes to Gauguin” and “Focus Theory,” Pebble Lake Review, with audio, 2012

Because literary poetry like Herrick’s has such a small readership, I was thrilled to find his poem in the adult adoptee anthology. I hope more people will seek out more of his work. It should be read by everyone involved with adoption.



Gifts to the World by Polly Robinson



A member of Worcester Writers’ Circle, Worcestershire Literary Festival, Parole Parlate and 42, Polly is delighted to see that A Song for Two Voices will be part of the December Gifts to the World: Art by Adoptees by Don’t We Look Alike.


A Song for Two Voices

‘Like you with your birth mother – times were very different then – dad never saw her again.

‘He had a daughter, that was OK, but his wife went to Australia to get away … The bloke she met adopted the child.

‘She was the one considered ‘wild’ In the UK, before she shot off for ten quid.  Do you think that extreme, just to have a kid?’

‘Women couldn’t have kids unless they were wed.’

‘Christ! That attitude makes me see red!’

‘Mums’ bore the stigma of unwedded birth,

‘The product of love, the cause of sick smirks.’

‘Do not judge, but rather try to understand,

‘Birth mothers could not, would not make a stand.

‘You’ve seen the TV series about long lost families

‘Could you deny having a child? Ha! My lovelies,

‘Times change so quickly, it’s ironic,

‘What went on then, is now almost mythic.’

‘She must miss you even if she is still in denial’

‘Maybe she’s not maternal, simply not loyal,’

‘She thinks of you each year on your birthday,

‘It’s unavoidable, come what may …’

‘But what if she doesn’t?’

Polly Robinson © 2012


This submission by Polly is a wonderful example of using different voices in poetry.  These voices are unadorned and direct.  Readers, like actors speaking lines, interpret them as they read them, bringing their own experiences and emotions to the experience.

Polly’s writing has been published in anthologies such as The Survivor’s Guide to Bedlam (Wrixton & Hirst, 2012); Reflections on a Blue Planet: Earth – Water – Sky (Wrixton, 2012) and Reflections on a Blue Planet: Nature’s Palette (Wrixton, 2012), Ripples: Friends in Verse (Summers, 2012), and Eerie Digest (www.eeriedigest.com April, May, 2012). Two of Polly’s short stories made the final in a recent Fantastic Books Publishing International competition and feature in their e-book Fusion (2012). She started a blog in November 2011: http://journalread.wordpress.com/ and her first book of poetry Girl’s Got Rhythm was published October 24, 2012.  It’s available from Amazon and Lulu, and also on Kindle.

A freelance writer and specialist in education, Polly spends as much time as possible writing or contemplating writing. She enjoys design work and creates material for those in education who want their programmes to be engaging and student-focused. Polly is a commited member of Rotary International and works with The Worcestershire Literary Festival and 42 supporting the Gothic Horror Halloween ‘round the campfire’ spoken word evenings; the recent ‘Poets in the Mist’ walk on The Malvern Hills and the Worcestershire Literary Festival. The thriving Worcester UK writing community has links to writing friends in the USA, whose work is often featured at events.

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