“Poetry,” writes best-selling author Ellen Bass, “is the way I pay attention, appreciate, give praise, struggle, grieve, rage, and pray. It’s the way I embody my love for the world.”
The Human Line, Bass’ seventh book of poems, startles with its precise detail, intimate images, and wild metaphors. Bass brings attention to life’s endearing absurdities, and many of the poems flash with a keen sense of humor. She also faces many of the crucial moral dilemmas of our time—genetic engineering, environmental issues, continuous war, heterosexism—and grounds her vision in the small, private workings of the heart.
. . . When I get home,
my son has a headache, and though he’s
almost grown, asks me to sing him a song.
We lie together on the lumpy couch
and I warble out the old show tunes, Night and Day . . .
They Can’t Take That Away from Me . . . A cheap
silver chain shimmers across his throat
rising and falling with his pulse. There never was
anything else. Only these excruciatingly
insignificant creatures we love.
Ellen Bass is co-author of the million-selling book Courage to Heal. She lives and teaches in Santa Cruz, California.
|Publisher:||Copper Canyon Press|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||326 KB|
About the Author
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Why this poet has not been designated Poet Laureate is beyond me. I have yet to read a poem of hers I didn't like. Her word choices are always exactly right: precise, surprising and honest. I can't imagine getting tired of her poems.
From what I've read of her work, Ellen Bass and her poetry deserve to be categorized as legendary. When I first read this book, I was so impressed with the power conveyed therein that I instantly became a fan. It came as no surprise to later find out she won two Pulitzer Prizes for her writing. In an underrepresented and unappreciated medium that is currently wrestling to stay relevant in a postmodern pop-culture-obsessed artistic scene, Ellen Bass is one of the very, very few contemporary poets who has the strength and resonance of work to stand the test of time in the coming generations as having been an important voice with an equally strong message to preserve through the years. -Elijah Joon, author of TEMPORAL: a Novel of Consciousness & Time (Art House Essential Reading) and Psalms Amidst Lamentations: Poems (Art House Essential Reading)