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A Poem from The Corrected Version by Rosanna Young Oh

I say

that the missing

watermelon half

is human.

The skeins

of pinkish rinds

coiling down

from the rope

suggest flesh

in summer —

the kind in which the air

looks like it’s boiling

above the asphalt.

And the cleaver

lying in wait:

why place it there at all,

if not to propose

destruction —

so as

to give structure

to the bone-yellow


of infinity,

the longing without end?

Scene With Watermelon From Hokusai

from The Corrected Version by Rosanna Young Oh


The cover of The Corrected Version by Rosanna Young Oh features heavy erasures on a graphite background

At its heart, Rosanna Young Oh’s debut collection of poems, The Corrected Version, is an immigrant narrative that ponders what it means to be an American. Who or what do we leave behind when we move to a new country? Who or what do we take with us? Traveling through Korean folklore, paintings, Long Island, a family grocery store, and Buddhism, the book meditates on the process of making meaning out of the lives we create for ourselves—a task that has the speaker relentlessly questioning, investigating, erasing, and rewriting the stories she ultimately chooses to inherit as her own. A book about survival, it is also a journey made gentle by moments of love and compassion.


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