Truthful, sensuous, and intellectually relentless, the poems in The Curious Thing are compelling meditations on love, art making, solitude, female fate, and both the mundane and serious principles of life. Sandra Lim's poetry displays stinging wit and a tough-minded approach to her own experiences: She speaks with Jean Rhys about beauty, encounters the dark loneliness that can exist inside a relationship, and discovers a coiled anger on a hot summer day. An extended poem sequence slyly revolves the meanings of finding oneself astray in midlife. A steely strength courses through the volume's myriad discoveries-Lim's lucidity and tenderness form a striking complement to her remarkable metaphors and the emotional clamor of her material. Animated by a sense of reckoning and a piercing inwardness, these anti-sentimental poems nevertheless celebrate the passionate and empathetic subjective life.