poets I’m reading: The Thing Is by Ellen Bass

In three months time, I will be in Culowhee, North Carolina, joining a week-long class with poet, Ellen Bass. That’s in 92 days time. Not that I’m excited, and not that I’m counting.

Summer ARTS series

Here’s a taste of her work.

 

The Thing Is – Ellen Bass

to love life, to love it even

when you have no stomach for it

and everything you’ve held dear

crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,

your throat filled with the silt of it.

When grief sits with you, its tropical heat

thickening the air, heavy as water

more fit for gills than lungs;

when grief weights you like your own flesh

only more of it, an obesity of grief,

you think, How can a body withstand this?

Then you hold life like a face

between your palms, a plain face,

no charming smile, no violet eyes,

and you say, yes, I will take you

I will love you, again.

 

From Mules of Love, BOA Editions Ltd, 2002.


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