Mules of Love (American Poets Continuum)
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. B...more
I love the way men crack
open when their wives leave them,
their sheaths curling back like the split
shells of roasted chestnuts, exposing
the sweet creamy meat. They call you
and unburden their hearts the way a woman
takes off her jewels, the heavy
pendant earrings, the stiff lace gown and corset,
and slips into a loose kimono. [...]
they grow younger and younger. They cry
with the unselfconciousness of children.
When they hug you, they cling.
Like someone who's needed glasse ...more
And this beautiful long poem, that I won't quote all of here, called "Bearing Witness," which is all about child abuse and neglect, and how much we'd all rather ignore it, and go to the movies f ...more
Basket of Figs
Bring me your pain, love. Spread
it out like fine rugs, silk sashes,
warm eggs, cinnamon
and cloves in burlap sacks. Show me
the detail, the intricate embroidery
on the collar, tiny shell buttons,
the hem stitched the way you were taught,
pricking just a thread, almost invisible.
Unclasp it like jewels, the gold
still h ...more
all that said “the thing is” is printed out and displayed in my phone case. so i obviously think ellen bass is a great poet, and she does have a ...more
The aspects of Ms. Bass’s work that I will return to include the casual language of her “I” voice, her use of linked similes and metaphors and the i ...more
I enjoyed the poems in this book so much that I just ordered another book by Ellen Bass.