Here, There and Everywhere

Posts tagged ‘collection’

Like A Begger by Ellen Bass

LikeaBeggar200pxLike A Begger by Ellen Bass
from EllenBass.com
Copper Canyon Press

Listen to Pulitzer Prize winner and former Poet Laureate Philip Levine discuss with Paul Muldoon Ellen Bass’s “What Did I Love” from Like a Beggar on the New Yorker podcast. “There is such a sense of ritual and such a clarity of purpose. . . . I found it so powerful and complex . . . and it was so exquisitely done. . . . She is a poet with terrific power.”—Philip Levine

About the Book

If, as Rilke writes, the poet’s work is to praise, to praise even those “dark, deadly, devastating ways,” then Ellen Bass is doing her job.

Like a Beggar is the work of a mature poet grappling with the most essential question—how do we go on? In the face of sorrow and suffering, with the ever-present awareness of our mortality and the increasing threat of environmental devastation, how do we find the courage to fully inhabit the moments of our lives? Mixing revelation and humor, despair and awe, whimsy and intelligence, Bass holds a mirror of unflinching compassion in which we see our flawed and exquisitely beautiful selves.

As in her previous books, Bass vividly describes the ordinary moments of our lives in ways that allow us to see through the crack in the everyday into the divine. Her poems are a microscope through which the commonplace is revealed in its exquisite detail and, like Blake, we see a world in a grain of sand, eternity in an hour.

Bass’s poems are approachable. More, they reach out to you and draw you in with their disarming clarity, their startling intimacy. Bass speaks to us through unforgettable images, striking metaphors, and surprising associations. Like a Beggar is rich in the music of the human voice—one voice calling to another across the miles and across the years, telling the life of the heart.

These poems will disturb you, comfort you, charm and delight you. They will break you open with their fierce insistence on joy. They are poems that make you want to call up a friend and say, “Listen to this.” These are unforgettable poems.

Tour of the Breath Gallery

9780896727946Tour of the Breath Gallery
by Sarah Pemberton Strong
Reviewed by Arielle Yarwood

Lambda Literary 6 November 2013

Read Tour of the Breath Gallery with a blanket and a stormy day, read it surrounded by strangers on the bus, read it in the sterile confines of a hospital room – wherever you happen to be, Sarah Pemberton Strong’s vivid lines of poetry will quiet and sharpen the life around you.

A Walt McDonald First Book winner, Tour of the Breath Gallery focuses on “the details / of duller things: a space / of silence, an opened window, / the moon-shaped crack / on the edge of this blue plate.” Strong’s book praises silence, and in doing so, allows the reader to hear what she has learned by listening.

The collection is divided into three parts, beginning with the heart and moving outward. The first section deals with the lessons learned in silence, that “sometimes the metaphor for suffering / turns out to be the suffering itself,” and that “if you want the world / to be less burdened with cruelty / and indifference, this moment you / are standing in would be the ideal / fulcrum from which to lift a finger.”

It advocates for the value of the physical, the tangible, and the self, particularly in womanhood. Strong’s version of the Biblical Delilah tells her daughter to “win / your own heart first, cherish every cell / of yourself,” and the contemplation of a teacup leads to the revelation that “you do not have to be clean, or whole, / you do not have, even, to be loved / to be radiant.” A sense of wonder and wholeness permeates this section, and the revaluation of self enables the persona to spread her awareness and compassion externally, toward child and community. Throughout the book and particularly in the beginning, a sense of interconnectedness binds not only the poems, but also the persona to her world.

The second section deals with the act of learning what was imparted in the first section; in essence, it reveals the beauty in the act of living. Several love poems are included in this section – “Nest,” the most striking and gracious, a missive to her trans lover, sings for “the slim green branches / and pale unopened buds / of the girl who / inside, you are.” Although there is always “the burden of our folded wings,” at its root, this is an utterly optimistic book, showing “that when / there is no light, our eyes open anyway: / searching for it, then for each other.” The second section concludes with the persona transformed into a goddess in steel-toed boots and overalls, gaining her power from learning the plumbing trade, using her hands to build and create and fix, imbued with the elements of the earth she inhabits.

Finally, the third section extends back to the past, to family and heritage, and looks at the ramifications of inheritance and death on life, the “breaking down / then subsequent repairing of the world.” Her relationships with father, mother, and friend are examined, revealing bonds that are fragile and yet resilient, like spider webs on grass “whose strength is that of steel, / yet can be torn like that / and then repaired;” bonds that extend behind and ahead, leaving traces of history, like a trail of footsteps in the snow or the fingerprints of the deceased that “still mark the doorknobs and teaspoons / of the living.”

Read entire review and other articles at Lambda Literary.

The Big Dipper

Luscious-Choc-SmoothiesFrom Luscious Chocolate Smoothies: An Irresisitible Collection of Healthy Cocoa Delights.
By Gabriel Constans

A healthy and delicious recipe from my book of chocolate smoothies.

The Big Dipper

Yields 6 Cups

  • 2 cups plain soy milk
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 12-ounce package soft silken tofu
  • 2 banans, in chunks
  • 1/2 cup mango slices
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey

1. Place all ingredients in a blender and mix on medium for 2 minutes.

2. Pour into tall clear glasses and never go without.

per cup: Calories 175; Protein 7 g; Total Fat 4 g; Saturated Fat 1 g; Carbohydrate29 g; Cholesterol 0 mg

Find more recipes, humor, chocolate facts and stories at Luscious Chocolate Smoothies.
Read one of the many reviews at Five Healthy Recipes.

Loving Audrey

Luscious-Choc-SmoothiesFrom Luscious Chocolate Smoothies: An Irresisitible Collection of Healthy Cocoa Delights.
By Gabriel Constans

A recipe for my love.

Audrey’s Amore

Yields 5 Cups

  • 3 cups chocolate soy, rice or low-fat dairy
  • 10 large ripe strawberries (fresh or thawed frozen)
  • 2 small bananas, in chunks
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

1. Place all ingredients in a blender and mix on medium for 1 minute.

2. Chill for 5 minutes, pour into tal glasses and serve naked.

per cup: Calories 147; Protein 6 g; Total Fat 2 g; Saturated Fat 1 g; Carbohydrate 28 g; Cholesterol 4 mg

Find more recipes, humor, chocolate facts and stories at Luscious Chocolate Smoothies.
Read one of the many reviews at Five Healthy Recipes.

Burning The Midnight Oil

Luscious-Choc-SmoothiesFrom Luscious Chocolate Smoothies: An Irresisitible Collection of Healthy Cocoa Delights.
By Gabriel Constans

A powerful and subtle recipe from my book of chocolate smoothies.

Burning The Midnight Oil

Yields 4 Cups

  • 1/2 cup chocolate syrup
  • 3 frozen bananas (thawed)*
  • 1 tablespoon protein powder
  • 2 cups brewed coffee
  • 1 tablespoon peppermint extract
  • 1 small (about 2-inch-square) brownie
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Place all ingredients in a blender and mix on medium for 1 minute.

2. Pour into tall glasses and serve. Be prepared for unexpected fits of dancing, prancing and romancing.

*To freeze bananas, peel and chop them, seal in plastic bags, and place in the freezer until frozen.

per cup: Calories 242; Protein 4 g; Total Fat 3 g; Saturated Fat 1 g; Carbohydrate 52 g; Cholesterol 2 mg

Find more recipes, humor, chocolate facts and stories at Luscious Chocolate Smoothies.
Read one of the many reviews at Five Healthy Recipes.

Hot Hot Love

Luscious-Choc-SmoothiesFrom Luscious Chocolate Smoothies: An Irresisitible Collection of Healthy Cocoa Delights.
By Gabriel Constans

A sizzling recipe from my book of chocolate smoothies.

Hot Love

Yields 4 Cups

  • 2 cups chocolate rice or soy milk
  • 2 bananas, in chunks
  • 1 12-ounce package soft silken tofu
  • 1/4 cup chocolate syrup
  • 21/4 teaspoon cayenne

1. Place all ingredients in a blender and mix on medium for 1 minute.

2. Pour into glasses or onto your partner and enjoy the hot afterglow.

per cup: Calories 432; Protein 9 g; Total Fat 3 g; Saturated Fat 1 g; Carbohydrate 94 g; Cholesterol 0 mg

Find more recipes, humor, chocolate facts and stories at Luscious Chocolate Smoothies.
Read one of the many reviews at Five Healthy Recipes.

The Sinful Warrior

Luscious-Choc-SmoothiesFrom Luscious Chocolate Smoothies: An Irresisitible Collection of Healthy Cocoa Delights.
By Gabriel Constans

Another scrumptious recipe from my book of chocolate smoothies.

The Sinful Warrior

Yields 5 Cups

  • 2 cups plain soy, rice or low-fat dairy milk
  • 1 large banana, in chunks
  • 1 12-ounce package soft silken tofu
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted

1. Place all ingredients in a blender and mix on medium for 1 minute.

2. Slowly pour the rich, creamy decadence into glasses and prepare to drink pure bliss.

per cup: Calories 181; Protein 6 g; Total Fat 7 g; Saturated Fat 3 g; Carbohydrate 28 g; Cholesterol 0 mg

Find more recipes, humor, chocolate facts and stories at Luscious Chocolate Smoothies.
Read one of the many reviews at Five Healthy Recipes.

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