Quotes by 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."

"So often survivors have had their experiences denied, trivialized, or distorted. Writing is an important avenue for healing because it gives you the opportunity to define your own reality. You can say: This did happen to me. It was that bad. It was the fault & responsibility of the adult. I was—and am—innocent.” The Courage to Heal by Ellen Bass & Laura Davis"

"Everyone has the right to tell the truth about her own life."

"There is comfort in knowing that you don’t have to pretend anymore, that you are going to do everything within your power to heal."

"I know you're in a world of pain, but that pain will lessen. At the beginning you can't see that. You can only see your pain and you think it will never go away.
But the nature of pain is that it changes— it changes like a sunset. At first, it's this intense red-orange in the sky, and then it starts getting softer and soften. The texture of pain changes as you work through it. And then one day, you wake up and realize that life isn't just about working through your incest; it's about living, too.
- survivor of child sexual abuse"


Books by Ellen Bass

  • Like a Beggar
  • 404 ratings
  • March 25th 2014 by Copper Canyon Press
  • Mules of Love
  • 240 ratings
  • April 1st 2002 by BOA Editions Ltd.

    (first published January 1st 2002)

  • Indigo
  • 169 ratings
  • April 7th 2020 by Copper Canyon Press

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Ellen Bass
  • Ellen Bass

  • Born: Philadelphia, PA, The United States.

  • Description: Ellen Bass is an American poet and author.