Mules of Love

Overview

Balancing heart-intelligent intimacy and surprising humor, the poems in Ellen Bass’s Mules of Love illuminate the essential dynamics of our lives: family, community, sexual love, joy, loss, religion and death. The poems also explore the darker aspects of humanity—personal, cultural, historical and environmental violence—all of which are handled with compassion and grace. Bass’s poetic gift is her ability to commiserate with others afflicted by similar hungers and grief. Her poem "Insomnia" concludes: "may ...

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Mules of Love

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Overview

Balancing heart-intelligent intimacy and surprising humor, the poems in Ellen Bass’s Mules of Love illuminate the essential dynamics of our lives: family, community, sexual love, joy, loss, religion and death. The poems also explore the darker aspects of humanity—personal, cultural, historical and environmental violence—all of which are handled with compassion and grace. Bass’s poetic gift is her ability to commiserate with others afflicted by similar hungers and grief. Her poem "Insomnia" concludes: "may something/ comfort you—a mockingbird, a breeze, rain/ on the roof, Chopin’s Nocturnes, the thought/ of your child’s birth, a kiss,/ or even me—in my chilly kitchen/ with my coat on—thinking of you."

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Ellen Bass is co-author (with Laura Davis) of the best-selling The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse (HarperCollins 1988, 1994), which has sold more than one million copies and has been translated into nine languages. She has also published several volumes of poetry, and her poems have appeared in hundreds of journals and anthologies, including The Atlantic Monthly, Ms., Double Take, and Field. In 1980, Ms. Bass was awarded the Elliston Book Award for Poetry from the University of Cincinnati. Last year, she won Nimrod/Hardman’s Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, judged by Thomas Lux. She was nominated for a 2001 Pushcart Prize. She lives in Santa Cruz, where she has taught creative writing for 25 years. She has also taught writing workshops at many conferences nationally and in Mallorca, Spain.

2002 Lambda Literary Award Finalist, Lesbian Poetry

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Mules of Love holds a special place on my bookshelf... It is a book I return to regularly when I need to be calmed or soothed because it is an openhearted volume of confessional, intimate work that continues to reward my effort. The more the poems reveal, the more endearing they become, and the more I read them, the richer they get.” -Isaiah Vianese, Rattle

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781929918225
  • Publisher: BOA Editions, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 4/1/2002
  • Series: American Poets Continuum
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 695,977
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Ellen Bass

Ellen Bass is co-author (with Laura Davis) of the best-selling The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse (HarperCollins 1988, 1994, 2008), which has sold more than one million copies and has been translated into nine languages. She has also published several volumes of poetry, including The Human Line (Copper Canyon, 2007), and her poems have appeared in hundreds of journals and anthologies, including The Atlantic Monthly, American Poetry Review, and The New Republic. Among her many awards are the Elliston Book Award from the University of Cincinnati, Nimrod / Hardman's Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, Larry Levis Editor's Prize from The Missouri Review, and a Pushcart Prize. She lives in Santa Cruz, CA and teaches in the MFA program at Pacific University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 9
Everything on the Menu 13
God and the G-Spot 15
If 16
Jack Gottlieb's in Love 18
Remodeling the Bathroom 20
His Teeth 21
In Which a Deer Is Found in a Bubble Bath ... 23
Pay for It 25
Sometimes, After Making Love 27
If There Is No God 28
Birds Do It 33
Backdoor Karaoke 34
Poem to My Sex at Fifty-One 35
Basket of Figs 36
Marriage Without Sex 37
Sleeping With You 38
The Sad Truth 39
Tigers and People 40
On Seeing Bernini's Ecstasy of Saint Teresa 42
Can't Get Over Her 43
For My Daughter on Her Twenty-First Birthday 47
Working in the Garden 48
Oh Demeter 49
Worry 51
In My Hands 53
Guilt 54
Laundry 56
Happiness After Sorrow 57
The Moon 59
After Our Daughter's Wedding 60
Tulip Blossoms 62
Mighty Strong Poems 65
Why People Murder 67
Phone Therapy 69
Bearing Witness 70
The Thing Is 72
Sleeping Next to the Man on the Plane 73
I Love the Way Men Crack 74
Getting My Hands on My Mother's Body 76
And What If I Spoke of Despair 78
Insomnia 80
Notes 84
Acknowledgments 85
About the Author 87
Colophon 90
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