Poetically, I felt Ha Jin relied a little too heavily on his abilities as a wonderful fiction writer. Many of the poems begin in the tone of anecdotal or historical recording, only to rush to a poetic two line epiphany at the end. The first section (The Cycle of the River) was the most enjoyable in this respect for me. It felt to me that Ha Jin was able to get at interesting angles with this lens then he was with the personal.
Over all, I liked it. His anecdotal/historical poems are relentless in their close-ups, unabashed, and committed to telling the story, reviving the unspoken voices of which he writes (The Script):
So today we write the same script
that is atemporal - a stone lyre
among the chorus of living tongues.
It has bound us together, synchronizing
our songs and shrieks, and kept hundreds
of dialects noteless on the page.