Ruth Li


After D.J. Savarese, "Passive Plants"

Listen to the audio version.

In its
    of substance
     and spirit
its leaves and
its soul exposing
     what words
      can be writ
even as it reaches
  toward light,

    Yet the vine
      its threads
    as its fragile
     belies its roots
   its strength
       from earth,
      its parts outward
       with its labors
         and fruits

      natural forms
   with strict
   of history
    progress and
  yet in its constant
beyond their grasp,
     the vine
     seeks to

Even as
 the world                       transcend
  as we ascend
    do we strive                   transcend
   toward pathways
    that transcend


Ruth Li is a Ph.D. student in English and education at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. My research investigates writing development and digital literacies. I also write creatively; my poetry has been published in the Wellesley Review and has won awards including the Nebraska Shakespeare Anne Dittrick Sonnet Writing Contest and the Wellesley College Ching Jen Lum Creative Writing Prize. The self-published sonnet collection from which this poem is drawn can be accessed here: