cover of book

Li Bai Rides a Celestial Dolphin Home
by Tom Sexton
University of Alaska Press, 2018
Paper: 978-1-60223-364-5 | eISBN: 978-1-60223-365-2
Library of Congress Classification PS3569.E88635
Dewey Decimal Classification 811.54

“On the night Li Bai tried to embrace the moon / in its fullness on the surface of the Yangtze River, / blossoms scented the air, and beyond the moon / pale stars powdered the sky. That faint shiver / of white near the surface was a dolphin rising. / I carry a book of his poems whenever I travel, / poems that touch the heart like a gentle snow. / Look, over there in that marsh, a snowy egret rising.”

​The day after their wedding, Tom and Sharyn Sexton set off on the more than 4,500-mile journey from Massachusetts to Alaska. Now, more than fifty years later, Tom Sexton is retracing those steps through his exceptional poetry. He describes the communities they passed through and ruminates on the changes, good and bad, that have taken place in the decades since. He still finds hope in the country and draws transformative hope from the land that connects all of us.
Appropriate for a journey that moves from east to west, the Sexton’s real-life voyage is embedded in the imaginary journey of the ancient Chinese poet, Li Bai, from Broad Pass to Polychrome Pass in the Alaska Range.

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