Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Wilderness: Poems” as Want to Read:
The Wilderness: Poems
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Wilderness: Poems

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  93 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Moving through myths of the American landscape, the fatalism of American Puritanism, family history, New England winters, aesthetic theory, and the suavities and anxieties of contemporary life, the poems in this astonishing collection ultimately speak about the individual soul’s struggle with its own meaning. “In its stern and quiet way Sandra Lim’s The Wilderness is one o ...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published September 22nd 2014 by W. W. Norton Company
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Wilderness, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Wilderness

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  93 ratings  ·  12 reviews

Sort order
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
A nice collection of poetry with a harsh but subtle tone to it. I liked the battle between spring and snow that works to set back the new beginning and the forest that grows on the periphery. The unknown that calls us.

What is death
but reason
in flawless submission
to itself

not reason

something stonier


A great collection that grows in the reader's imagination and will stay fresh read after read.
Gabriel Congdon
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dope, dope, dope, dope!

What a dope book of poetry. I wasn't ready for language poems to so dissect my brain
After the dissection, the poem should me who I am, they said, 'look at that this stuff. That's you, man.”
All my mental innards, all spayed out on the couch and lap and whatnot. I lookin at the old innards, 'So this is how I bandy about. I would have never guessed.”

I wouldn't have. That's why we have the pomes.

Clearly, it's difficult to convey. Clearly, this review so far isn't slicing the
Jessie Seagull
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
is very good book,
so excelent and beautiful im like
Mar 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Grace by: New Poetry Seminar
The experience of reading this book was like chewing on ice cubes. "Garden Quarrel" was one of the poems that I did enjoy. And there definitely were some really great lines to be found in this collection. However, as a whole this book was rather difficult for me to get through; the poems' voice and content were just not my cup of tea.
Jan 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, poetry
An amazing collection of poetry; the winner of the Barnard Women Poets Prize. Lim explores the space between our inner and outer selves and the world at large, the unknowability of existence. Stark and beautiful, this collection is highly recommended.
Aug 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, library, poetry
quietly sensuous, a kind of walk along a forest edge.
Aug 04, 2017 rated it liked it
3 stars

Just a few standout poems. Something about her tone just wasn't connecting for me.

"I wanted to watch the shape / of a movement, / the trajectory of a body as it makes // the shapes that it will in a limited ambit / revolving around an implied center." --from "Rite of Spring"

"Human Interest Story" and "Small Container, Fury" were also favorites.
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Lim has written a book that is not only beautiful, but is such a great study for the craft of poetry. This is my second time around reading this book and I am simultaneously inspired to write, study the book again for the work it does with line, presenting time/memories through fragmentation, as well as just to contemplate the imagery used. So good.
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, poetry
A gorgeous, moving collection of poetry. Lim creates amazing, evocative imagery, especially using seemingly barren wild places (snow, desert) to tell gripping, emotional stories. I'll be reading this one again.
Darrin Kramer
Sep 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Outstanding poet. She views a harsh world with pure clarity of thought. I really enjoyed a view of the world from another angle, though much different from my writing style.
Jan 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book of poetry. The poems are consistently interesting and illuminating. They, unlike much good poetry, are also inspiring and a source of ideas for other writings.
Sep 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Provocative, yet understated. The poems stayed with me, sparking an internal probing of where I fit in this world. Memorable.
Jake Marion
rated it liked it
Apr 07, 2016
rated it really liked it
Nov 05, 2017
rated it liked it
Sep 06, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Jan 11, 2017
Christina Ellsberg
rated it really liked it
Aug 19, 2018
Becky Baldwin
rated it really liked it
May 30, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Nov 18, 2017
Bailey Fernandez
rated it it was ok
Jul 22, 2016
Maddie Kim
rated it it was amazing
Dec 21, 2018
Michelle Meier
rated it liked it
Jan 06, 2017
Arlena Lockard
rated it really liked it
May 24, 2016
rated it liked it
Jan 14, 2019
rated it really liked it
Mar 06, 2016
rated it it was amazing
Oct 10, 2014
Brooke Bragg
rated it really liked it
Dec 29, 2017
Sebastian Sarkisian
rated it it was amazing
Nov 07, 2018
rated it liked it
Jul 25, 2014
rated it really liked it
Dec 09, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
“To relieve ourselves of open-ended narrative, we read into the winter stars all evening. There are just stars and stars and stars.” 0 likes
“AMOR FATI Inside every world there is another world trying to get out, and there is something in you that would like to discount this world. The stars could rise in darkness over heartbreaking coasts, and you would not know if you were ruining your life or beginning a real one. You could claim professional fondness for the world around you; the pictures would dissolve under the paint coming alive, and you would only feel a phantom skip of the heart, absorbed so in the colors. Your disbelief is a later novel emerging in the long, long shadow of an earlier one— is this the great world, which is whatever is the case? The sustained helplessness you feel in the long emptiness of days is matched by the new suspiciousness and wrath you wake to each morning. Isn’t this a relationship with your death, too, to fall in love with your inscrutable life? Your teeth fill with cavities. There is always unearned happiness for some, and the criminal feeling of solitude. Always, everyone lies about his life.” 0 likes
More quotes…