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"Undersong is a remarkable poetic document...."--Adrienne Rich "Undersong is a remarkable poetic document...."--Adrienne Rich


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"Undersong is a remarkable poetic document...."--Adrienne Rich "Undersong is a remarkable poetic document...."--Adrienne Rich

30 review for Undersong: Chosen Poems Old and New

  1. 5 out of 5

    Julie Ehlers

    Yowza.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nadine Jones

    I didn't love this the way I thought I would, if that makes sense. I've read Lorde's work before, but I never sat down and read a book of her poetry, cover-to-cover. After a while they all seemed to be the same poem, and they were so heavy with metaphor that I often didn't know what she was trying to say. These are some of my favorites: The Dozens Nothing says that you must see me in the street with us so close together at that red light that a blind man could have smelled his grocer— and nothing say I didn't love this the way I thought I would, if that makes sense. I've read Lorde's work before, but I never sat down and read a book of her poetry, cover-to-cover. After a while they all seemed to be the same poem, and they were so heavy with metaphor that I often didn't know what she was trying to say. These are some of my favorites: The Dozens Nothing says that you must see me in the street with us so close together at that red light that a blind man could have smelled his grocer— and nothing says that you must say hello as we pass in the street, but we have known each other too well in the dark for this, and it hurts me when you do not speak. And no one you were with was quite so fine that I won't remember this and suffer you in turn and in my own fashion which is certainly not in the street. For I can count on my telephone ringing some evening and you exploding into my room through the receiver kissing and licking my ear.... I hope you will learn your thing at least from some of those spiteless noseless people who surround you before the centipede in you runs out of worlds one for each foot. Sowing It is the sink of the afternoon the children asleep or weary. I have finished planting the tomatoes in this brief sun after four days of rain brown earth under my fingernails honey-thick sun on the back of my neck the tips of my fingers are stinging from the rich earth but more so from the lack of your body. I have been to this place before blood seething commanded my fingers fresh from the earth dream of a furrow whose name should be you. Change of Season Am I to be cursed forever with becoming somebody else on the way to myself? Walking backward I fall into summers behind me salt with wanting lovers or friends a job wider shoes a cool drink something to bite into freshness place to hide out of the rain out of the shifting melange of seasons where cruel boys I chased and their skinny dodgeball sisters flamed and died in becoming the brown autumn left in search of who tore the streamers down at graduation … Who Said It Was Simple There are so many roots to the tree of anger that sometimes the branches shatter before they bear. Sitting in Nedicks the women rally before they march discussing the problematic girls they hire to make them free. An almost white counterman passes a waiting brother to serve them first and the ladies neither notice nor reject the slighter pleasures of their slavery. But I who am bound by my mirror as well as my bed see causes in color as well as sex and sit here wondering which me will survive all these liberations.

  3. 5 out of 5

    El

    SEPARATION Stars dwindle they will not reward me even in triumph. It is possible to shoot a man in self-defense and still notice how his red blood decorates the snow. (1972)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    It’s difficult for me to rate or review a book of poetry because my understanding of it is very limited, and poems either hit me or they don’t. When they do, they carry me off somewhere I could never have dreamed of on my own. Audre Lorde did that with many of these, plus she gave me a glimpse into another’s life, one of the aspects of reading I love the most. “For Each of You,” a masterpiece, is filled with important reminders for all of us, including this one: Remember Our sun Is not the most no It’s difficult for me to rate or review a book of poetry because my understanding of it is very limited, and poems either hit me or they don’t. When they do, they carry me off somewhere I could never have dreamed of on my own. Audre Lorde did that with many of these, plus she gave me a glimpse into another’s life, one of the aspects of reading I love the most. “For Each of You,” a masterpiece, is filled with important reminders for all of us, including this one: Remember Our sun Is not the most noteworthy star Only the nearest

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jimmy

    Here are some samples: Now That I Am Forever with Child by Audre Lorde How the days went while you were blooming within me I remember____each upon each the swelling changed planes of my body and how you first fluttered____then jumped and I thought it was my heart. How the days wound down and the turning of winter I recall____you growing heavy against the wind. I thought____now her hands are formed____her hair has started to curl now her teeth are done now she sneezes. Then the seed opened. I bore you one morning ju Here are some samples: Now That I Am Forever with Child by Audre Lorde How the days went while you were blooming within me I remember____each upon each the swelling changed planes of my body and how you first fluttered____then jumped and I thought it was my heart. How the days wound down and the turning of winter I recall____you growing heavy against the wind. I thought____now her hands are formed____her hair has started to curl now her teeth are done now she sneezes. Then the seed opened. I bore you one morning just before spring my head rang like a fiery piston my legs were towers between which a new world was passing. Since then I can only distinguish one thread within running hours you____flowing through selves toward You. (1963) What My Child Learns of the Sea by Audre Lorde What my child learns of the sea of the summer thunders of the riddles that hide in the curve of spring she will learn in my twilights and childlike revise every autumn. What my child learns as her winters grow into time has ripened in my own body to enter her eyes with first light. This is why more than blood or the milk I have given one day a strange girl will step to the back of a mirror cutting my ropes of sea and thunder and spring. Of the way she will taste her autumns-- toast-brittle or warmer than sleep-- and the words she will use for winter I stand already condemned. (1963)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Neelanjana

    I learned why people always talked in hushed voices about the power of Audre Lorde.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Daher

    Exceptionally moving, could have been written in 2016. Food for the spirit, humbling, should be required.

  8. 4 out of 5

    lkh0ja

    Audre Lorde's poetry is beautiful, and this was a wonderful way to begin reading it. I've read her essays and Zami, so it was nice to be exposed to her poetry. Audre Lorde's poetry is beautiful, and this was a wonderful way to begin reading it. I've read her essays and Zami, so it was nice to be exposed to her poetry.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Dante

    This collection includes a wide sampling of Lorde's poems across the years. It's interesting to see how she grows as a writer - the earlier poems she wrote were quite limited in terms of the images introduced and word choice. She was obsessed with thunder and the earth in particular, the elements. She loves the word "nightmare." These poems relied more on broader, vague associations. As you get into the later poems, however, you see her turn her focus more towards the social injustice of her tim This collection includes a wide sampling of Lorde's poems across the years. It's interesting to see how she grows as a writer - the earlier poems she wrote were quite limited in terms of the images introduced and word choice. She was obsessed with thunder and the earth in particular, the elements. She loves the word "nightmare." These poems relied more on broader, vague associations. As you get into the later poems, however, you see her turn her focus more towards the social injustice of her time - in particular, the violence done to women and black bodies. The final poem of the collection, "Need: A Chorale for Black Woman Voices," is probably the best poem in the collection. It is very sad to see, given recent events, how the material included here is not much different than what we see on the news today in terms of racism and the abuse of power. If you're interested in more of Lorde's poetry, I highly recommend "Our Dead Behind Us," which is one of my favorite poetry collections ever.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Taylor Napolsky

    Some of these poems I really loved, many of them I liked and appreciated, while others I couldn't get into as much. With my favorites the work is stunningly powerful, with lines that lay out vivid images, unwinding with heat and intensity, unwinding in such impressive, inventive and moving ways that it is just about unbelievable. Here the talent, intelligence and sheer force of genius is easily seen. Some of these poems I really loved, many of them I liked and appreciated, while others I couldn't get into as much. With my favorites the work is stunningly powerful, with lines that lay out vivid images, unwinding with heat and intensity, unwinding in such impressive, inventive and moving ways that it is just about unbelievable. Here the talent, intelligence and sheer force of genius is easily seen.

  11. 4 out of 5

    salma k

    Like every writer who is not good at what they like to do—Borges considers himself a poet, whereas he was widely known and acclaimed for his short stories. Sontag likes to think of herself as a novelist when she was respected as a critic. And so many others—she views herself as a poet when she is loved for her prose, and I think part of being a writer is desiring to be something you are not good at, which is, in some respects, upsetting, and in others, entertaining

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lara

    Short but really powerful collection consisting of just seven poems. Afterimages (about Emmett Till) and Need: A Choral of Black Women's Voices (including Patricia Cowen and Bobbie Jean Graham) are especially devastating. Short but really powerful collection consisting of just seven poems. Afterimages (about Emmett Till) and Need: A Choral of Black Women's Voices (including Patricia Cowen and Bobbie Jean Graham) are especially devastating.

  13. 4 out of 5

    yassie

    3 books down for btat

  14. 4 out of 5

    some mushroom dude

    perfect

  15. 4 out of 5

    Liz Henry

    I love this book for thinking about how Lorde chose the poems to represent particular moments, "some of the women I have been, am being still, will come to be". These days I read books as if they're long poems in themselves. Some of the short poems, I wish were longer. Keep going, keep going! But then I think, well, that's the books. That's the keeping going! For the poetics - I love Movement Song the best. It has floatiness. Do not remember me as a bridge nor a roof as the maker of legends nor as a I love this book for thinking about how Lorde chose the poems to represent particular moments, "some of the women I have been, am being still, will come to be". These days I read books as if they're long poems in themselves. Some of the short poems, I wish were longer. Keep going, keep going! But then I think, well, that's the books. That's the keeping going! For the poetics - I love Movement Song the best. It has floatiness. Do not remember me as a bridge nor a roof as the maker of legends nor as a trap door to that world It was also nice to see the Love Poem (that gets anthologized all over). Thinking about what poems get anthologized and how they represent. Wondering if I go read the Complete Works how incomplete it will look and what I'd mark in the margins. I'm going to carry this around for a bit in my backpack for contemplation at odd moments!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    Part of my New Year's Resolution to read 365 poems this year, this book was beautiful, visual, and evocative. These poems made me cry, rage, and laugh. Some of my favorites The Day they Eulogized Mahalia Now that I am Forever with Child Who Said it was Simple Revolution is One Form of Social Change Moving Out or the End of Cooperative Living To My Daughter the Junkie on a Train Progress Report Part of my New Year's Resolution to read 365 poems this year, this book was beautiful, visual, and evocative. These poems made me cry, rage, and laugh. Some of my favorites The Day they Eulogized Mahalia Now that I am Forever with Child Who Said it was Simple Revolution is One Form of Social Change Moving Out or the End of Cooperative Living To My Daughter the Junkie on a Train Progress Report

  17. 4 out of 5

    Phil Henderson

    I found her early poems engaging until I realized--upon completing this book--that Audre Lorde simply never evolved as a poet. What she wrote in 1950 was virtually identical in tone, structure and subject matter to what she wrote in 1987. My verdict? Totally overrated. Lorde simply coasted on her being black, Lesbian and an on/off Berlin expat, and many people fell for it without bothering to really look at what it was she had to say.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jtp

    big fan of Ms. Lourde's Sister Outsider collection of essays....her quote "Your silence will not protect you" frequents my lips and is the basis of my coming out almost 30 years ago...Audre remains strong in these poems, some rewritten just shortly before her death. Rest in peace, our Black lesbian feminist warrior...after all your good work.... big fan of Ms. Lourde's Sister Outsider collection of essays....her quote "Your silence will not protect you" frequents my lips and is the basis of my coming out almost 30 years ago...Audre remains strong in these poems, some rewritten just shortly before her death. Rest in peace, our Black lesbian feminist warrior...after all your good work....

  19. 4 out of 5

    E.

    Lorde's poems speak powerfully to the experiences of women, particularly of black women, and of same-gender loving women. Some of the images and phrases are quite challenging while also at times celebratory. She can write sexy love poems and chilling poems about abuse and violence. Lorde's poems speak powerfully to the experiences of women, particularly of black women, and of same-gender loving women. Some of the images and phrases are quite challenging while also at times celebratory. She can write sexy love poems and chilling poems about abuse and violence.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Marissa

    I found this book of earlier poems that Audre Lorde reworked and then published both really fascinating and really inspiring. It's kind of it's own primer on the writing process in the raw, which is a pretty rare thing. I found this book of earlier poems that Audre Lorde reworked and then published both really fascinating and really inspiring. It's kind of it's own primer on the writing process in the raw, which is a pretty rare thing.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Malika

    It's an insult to Audre to not have the photo of her book. This is an extremely important work of poetry, and a cherished item in my collection. It's an insult to Audre to not have the photo of her book. This is an extremely important work of poetry, and a cherished item in my collection.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Phoebe

    I really like her short stories, but for some reason I did not like this book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

  24. 4 out of 5

    lori degolyer

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lauryl

  26. 5 out of 5

    David Slay

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany Lin

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nico

  29. 4 out of 5

    Monica

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kady Kidd

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