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Undersong: Chosen Poems Old and New

4.26  ·  Rating Details ·  271 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
"Undersong is a remarkable poetic document...."--Adrienne Rich
Paperback, 224 pages
Published October 17th 1992 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 1982)
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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:

Our sun
Is not the most no

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.

Liz Henry
Apr 02, 2011 Liz Henry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reread, poetry
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
Aug 27, 2013 Emily rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
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
Sep 28, 2014 Jtp rated it really liked it
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....
Apr 23, 2014 Scott rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 03, 2010 Marissa rated it really liked it
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.
Aug 07, 2011 Malika rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Natalie Daher
Aug 24, 2016 Natalie Daher rated it it was amazing
Exceptionally moving, could have been written in 2016. Food for the spirit, humbling, should be required.
Feb 02, 2015 lkh0ja rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 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.
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Lorde's poetry was published very regularly during the 1960s — in Langston Hughes' 1962 New Negro Poets, USA; in several foreign anthologies; and in black literary magazines. During this time, she was politically active in civil rights, anti-war, and feminist movements. Her first volume of poetry, The First Cities (1968), was published by the Poet's Press and edited by Diane di Prima, a former cla ...more
More about Audre Lorde...

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