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Audre Lord's writing was complex enough to be both fierce and subtle, and this collection is the best overview of her impressive career. Adrienne Rich has said that Lord wrote with power and clarity, especially about "love and anger, family, politics, sexuality, and the body of the city." True enough: "Gemini" is a stunning intertwining of personal and political issues; "Love Poem," evokes the rhythms of sex, time and the heavens; and the haiku-influenced "Separation" shows the clarity and economy other writers have so admired in Lord's work. These poems still have a lot to teach us all.
“... It comprises a thoroughgoing revision of Lorde's early poems, 1950-1979, along with nine hitherto unpublished poems from that period, and an essay describing the revision process. Readers new to Lorde's work will meet here a major American poet whose concerns are international, and whose words have left their mark on many lives. Readers of , , , , and , and the thousands who have attended her poetry readings and speeches, will recognize in this book the roots and the growing-points of a transformative writer. Never has a poet left so clear and conscious a track of artistic choices made in the trajectory of a life. Far from rewriting old poems to fit a changes historical moment, she has finely rehoned formal elements to illuminate the original poems. Throughout, Lorde's lifelong themes of love and anger, family politics, sexuality, and the body of the city can be seen gathering in power and clarity.” — Adrienne RichSee all Editorial Reviews