"Bass takes all of it, the guts and glory of life, and transforms her experiences into remarkable poetry that is beautifully written, easy to understand, and complex in meaning and implication."--"Windy City Times"
"Openness, giving, and interconnection are recurring themes in Bass's work."--"La Gazette"
Ellen Bass brings a deft touch as she continues her ongoing interrogations of crucial moral issues of our times, while simultaneously delighting in endearing human absurdities. From the start of "Like a Beggar," Bass asks her readers to relax, even though "bad things are going to happen," because the "bad" gets mined for all manner of goodness.
From "Small Lives": "
After dinner, we're drinking scotch at the kitchen table.
Janet and I just watched a NOVA special
and we're explaining to her mother
the age and size of the universe--
the hundred billion stars in the hundred billion galaxies.
Dotty lives at Dominican Oaks, making her way down the long hall.
How about the sun? she asks, a little farmshit in the endlessness.
I gather up a cantaloupe, a lime, a cherry,
and start revolving this salad around the chicken carcass.
This is the best scotch I ever tasted, Dotty says,
even though we gave her the Maker's Mark
while we're drinking Glendronach..."
Ellen Bass's most recent book of poems, "The Human Line," was named a "Notable Book of the Year" by the "San Francisco Chronicle." In addition, she is co-author of the million-seller "Courage to Heal." She lives in Santa Cruz, California.