The Undressing: Poems (Hardcover)
Celebrated poet Li-Young Lee returns with a breathtaking new volume about the violence of desire and the peace of love.
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, as well as 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 was born in 1957 in Jakarta, Indonesia. His verse has earned numerous honors, including a Lannan Literary Award, a Paterson Poetry Prize, and an American Book Award. Lee lives in Chicago with his wife and two sons.
Potent and mysterious. . . . [Lee] pivots confidently among registers, speakers, and languages. . . . Countless gorgeous details provide, in poem after poem, distinct delights.
— Dan Chiasson
Few poets write like Li-Young Lee these days, facing the biggest and broadest questions head on. . . . Fewer still ask these questions so well, and so movingly. . . . Utterly true poetry.
— Craig Morgan Teicher
Immediate, sensual, unrelentingly intense.
Erotic. . . . Throughout this multilayered book, [Lee] challenges readers to think and feel more deeply.
— Elizabeth Lund
The poems emerge with their simplicity and complexity intact. In a word, they are heartfelt, without condescension. It’s the triumph of sincerity over authenticity. . . . Lee’s elegance transports us into the aspirations of yearning.
A heart-rending collection of poems that tackle love and violence with equal curiosity.
[Lee] presents breath-catching metaphysical equations in incantatory cadences that swing between earth and sky, flesh and holiness. . . . [An] exquisite, enthralling, and ringing call to wind, trees, sea, the beloved, and love, both human and sacred.