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Aftereffects by Jiye Lee

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'Aftereffects’ is a moving and lyrical chapbook exploring the subtle reverberations of our lives. Jiye has an extraordinary ability to distil emotion into a few words, and refresh our perceptions of familiar images. Many of the poems experiment with form and manage to be playful and deadly serious at the same time. Alongside contemplations on family interactions and how we are shaped by relationships, Jiye considers more tangible aftereffects, such as those left by war and politics.

“Dedicated to her beloved father, Lee’s poems launch us straight into bereavement and the bewilderment that accompanies it. Though her love and grief for her father is the golden thread that binds this pamphlet, she is never self-indulgent. Clear-eyed and open-hearted, Lee takes us around the world to witness beauty, catastrophe and social endeavour everywhere from Goa to Korea, Tyne & Wear to the Red Sea. Wherever her poet’s eye lands, she helps us to see the mortality and humanity that joins us all.”

- Kirsten Luckins, Poet and Creative Producer

Enigma with a Blackbird

After Pablo Neruda, Enigma with a Flower

Grief. It has come silently. I did not know it had perched,

the black figure that sits in my chest,

piecing itself a home, twig by twig, scrap by scrap, my heart: her barn, her rooftop, her part of the tree to claim – how she settles there, uninvited. She sheds feathers, ’til the blackness

of her body seeps into mine,

’til her talons curl around my throat.

She spreads her wings – for a moment,

I breathe. Leaves behind an empty nest;

I hear a crack.


Jiye Lee is a British-born Korean poet from Newcastle. Her writing is published / forthcoming in Literary Orphans Journal, Fragmented Voices, and Bandit Fiction Press. As a New Creatives North finalist in 2019, she also has an audio poem forthcoming on BBC sounds.



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