The Undressing: Poems (Paperback)
“Immediate, sensual, unrelentingly intense.” —NPR
A breathtaking volume about the violence of desire and the peace of love from celebrated poet Li-Young Lee, The Undressing is a tonic for spiritual anemia; it attempts to uncover things hidden since the dawn of the world. Short of achieving that end, these mysterious, unassuming poems investigate the human violence and dispossession increasingly prevalent around the world, and the horrors the poet grew up with as a child of refugees. Lee draws from disparate sources including the Old Testament, the Dao De Jing, and the music of the Wu-Tang Clan. While the ostensive subjects of these layered, impassioned poems are wide-ranging, their driving engine is a burning need to understand our collective human mission.
About the Author
Li-Young Lee’s verse has earned numerous honors, including a Lannan Literary Award, a Paterson Poetry Prize, and an American Book Award. Lee lives in Chicago.
Countless gorgeous details provide, in poem after poem, distinct delights.
— Dan Chiasson
Erotic.… Throughout this multilayered book, [Lee] challenges readers to think and to feel more deeply.
— Elizabeth Lund
Few poets write like Li-Young Lee, facing the biggest and broadest questions head on.… Fewer still ask these questions so well, and so movingly.
— Craig Morgan Teicher
An important story about human nature.… [Li-Young] Lee’s elegance transports us into the aspirations of yearning.
— American Poetry Review
Passionate, pure, and enchanted.… The poet of rapture and tenderness.
— Major Jackson
Delight[s] in revelations that are holy and intimate.… [Lee’s] wisdom situates itself in a fresh way.
— Derek J. G. Williams
[Lee’s work] ground[s] the mysteries of existence in the plain imagery of the everyday.… In [The Undressing], Lee explores themes of family, memory, spirituality, love, and even violence.
— Deborah Shapiro
Li-Young Lee’s first book in more than a decade was worth the wait: a heart-rending collection of poems that tackle love and violence with equal curiosity.
Lyrical.… This volume asks us to consider the discrepancy of human perspectives.
— Magdalena Kay
Erotic, witty, and cosmic.… [Lee] presents breath-catching metaphysical equations in incantatory cadences that swing between earth and sky, flesh and holiness.