With a deft touch and a sure voice Bass takes on many of the crucial moral issues of our times, and she delights with portrayals of life’s endearing absurdities. Offering homage to each transient moment, she reminds us to treasure the small, the plain, the surprising — those instances that lash us to the human line.
In Praise of the Book
“Ellen Bass’s frighteningly personal poems about sex, love, birth, motherhood, and aging are kept from mere confession by the graces of wit, an observant eye, an empathetic heart, and just the right image deployed at just the right time. The Human Line is full of real stunners.” — Billy Collins
“Ever since her first book, I have admired the tough, urgent, and wildly human poems of Ellen Bass. The Human Line deepens my regard for her necessary and indelible voice.” — Thomas Lux
“There are lovely poems in The Human Line, poems that live up to the splendid title, with all that it implies of our continuity in grief and joy. There are poems that cut deep into our sense of self and of primal relationships.” — Carolyn Kizer
“Ellen Bass is such a trustworthy guide. These are poems of quiet joy and true comfort. I read the book to the end, and then started from the beginning, again.” — Marie Howe