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The Collected Poems

4.32 of 5 stars 4.32  ·  rating details  ·  1,522 ratings  ·  33 reviews
"These are poems which blaze and pulse on the page."—Adrienne Rich "The first declaration of a black, lesbian feminist identity took place in these poems, and set the terms—beautifully, forcefully—for contemporary multicultural and pluralist debate."—Publishers Weekly "This is an amazing collection of poetry by . . . one of our best contemporary poets. . . . Her poems are ...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published February 17th 2000 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 1997)
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Community Reviews

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Jessica Mays

is the total black, being spoken
from the earth's inside.
There are many kinds of open
how a diamond comes into a knot of flame
how sound comes into a words, coloured
by who pays what for speaking.

Some words are open like a diamond
on glass windows
singing out within the crash of sun
Then there are words like stapled wagers
in a perforated book - buy and sign and tear apart -
and come whatever will all chances
the stub remains
an ill-pulled tooth with a ragged edge.
Some words live in my throat

We made strong poems for each other
exchanging formulas for our own particular magic
all the time pretending
we were not really witches
and each time we would miss
some small ingredient
that one last detail
that would make the spell work
Each one of us
too busy
hearing our other voices
the sound of our own guards
calling the watch at midnight
assuring us
we were still safely asleep
so when it came time to practice
what we had learned
one grain was always missing
one word unsaid
so the pot did not boil
Amanda Roddey
The Collected Poems of Audre Lord by Audre Lorde

Lord, Audre (2007) New York, New York: W.W. Norton
Target Audience: 6-up - varying by poem

All of Audre Lorde’s poems are rich, vivid, and full of life. They paint pictures of every life experience imaginable. However, this is why one must be weary when giving this book to a child. There are many poems that are not intended for young children so they must be assigned cautiously. Nonetheless, these poems “tell it like it is” as they don’t shy away fro
Ralowe Ampu
this is the first time i've ever read any book of poetry cover to cover. i'm attemtping to be as thorough as possible in my search for audre lorde's ideas of self-care. it comes close to the ideas of foucault, wherein it is intertwined with knowing the self, the practice of building an edifice of images that make the self coherent, storytelling, biography, history, myth. the area i found most beautiful in this work were the selections drawn from the black unicorn. black unicorn was clearly the f ...more
Did not read, could not remember why I ordered it.
I grieved when I finished this collection. I grieved, because I would miss the anticipation of a new bit of truth or perspective or resonance that I found every time I opened this book. I grieved, because, over the course of this collection, I felt I had grown to know Lorde in a sense--I had been made privy to her processes and growth over the years from her first published poetry book to her last. I grieved, because I have never before found so much of myself and my intersections reflected in s ...more
Cdhrreiws Alan
I really enjoyed this collection. Lorde has a lot to say, and to see her thoughts and feelings as they spread and evolved across the history of her work was a really wonderful experience. The range of the work is incredible, and her style has a wonderful feeling of openness, actively avoiding too heavy of a 'high' or 'academic' tone, and attempting to seriously acknowledge and speak to a very grounded and real every day world. This world is sometimes unjust, violent, dangerous, or adverse, but i ...more
I'll admit that I didn't make it through the entire volume, but only because I don't own it and had to keep returning it to the library. This is a beautiful collection of poems from one of the best-known African American poets. Her style sometimes led me to feel like I wasn't grasping the entire meaning of the poem, and there was probably a lot below the surface of each one. But if you just let the language wash over you while you read, you really start to appreciate her words.
I read this through and through in University and thought Audre Lorde was a phenomenal poet then. Add some 20 -30 years and I am even more impressed. Clarity and grand visual works that are sent to that responsive space. Still love this poet. I agree with every review written...
I recently picked up this wonderfully large collection of Lorde's poetry and found myself tearing up while standing in a rush-hour subway car. She has a way of taking you away and showing you the importance of what she is saying with her words.
Fiorella Morzi
I devoured this collection within a few days. I'm speechless, to say the least. I only know that I want to cry, to carry this heavy book with me at all times, to grab the next person I see and beg them, "Audre transformed poetry," thank you always.
Brilliant. Intense. So many great and thought-provoking words. A few of my favorites: "On a night of the full moon"; "If You Come Softly"; "Eulogy". But, really the whole collection is amazing.
Laura M.
Jan 04, 2014 Laura M. marked it as to-read
Recommended by Cara B.
My mistake here, I think, was reading the complete compendium. I liked many of the smaller books within, but gave up on the complete collection after a while.
Mar 08, 2009 Alaina marked it as to-read
I read some of these poems online in order to write a cento about lesbian forbidden love, and I immediately fell in love with what I read. I must have more!
A What a wonderful book. This contains all of the collections of poetry of Audre Lorde; she is such a fantastic, powerful, amazing writer.
Audre Lorde always said it best. Her poems carried me through dark times, but I find solace in them in bright moments now, too.
It took a while for me to get into her poetry, but there are a few in here that I regard as my favorites of all time.
I don't know why I keep thinking that reading giant volumes of poetry will work for me. It never does.
i picked this up again. brillant poetry. just the thing to take with me on the train to montreal.
I am sad to say that Lorde's poetry doesn't move me as much as her prose. Ah well.
Lauren Bellon
One of my very favorite poets. Her work is just plain wonderful.
Emm Roy
These poems are full of imagery, and very powerful.
Some of the most original, sumptuous poetry ever written.
it's audre...what would you like me to say? READ IT!
Pam Fenton
A beautiful, elegant and powerful poet.
I haven't read the entire collection yet
this is an amazing collection!!!
Eboni Sade
Amazing read.
Christina Olivares
yes, yes, yes
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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
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“It does not pay to cherish symbols when the substance lies so close at hand.” 14 likes
“There is a timbre of voice
that comes from not being heard
and knowing / you are not being
heard / noticed only
by others / not heard
for the same reason.”
More quotes…