Foreword Reviews

Like a Beggar

Ellen Bass’s poems might best be described as transcendental incidentalism. In Like a Beggar, her prose moseys along, skillfully detailing tightly framed shots, one right after another, and then “a boy on a bicycle rides by.” Hopalong happenstance.

She writes of Jewish habits, atheism, Lucretius, her son and daughter and ex-husband, and rolling naked down dunes in Death Valley with a same-sex lover: “the perfect cones of her breasts, dusted with grains of sand.”

Bass is sexy maternalism (is that redundant?), exposing herself with a nod to a natural sense of modesty. A Pushcart Prize and Pablo Neruda Prize winner, as well as the author of five acclaimed collections of poetry, she is fun to be around.

Reviewed by Matt Sutherland

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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