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Ten Poems for Difficult Times
by Roger Housden
10 poems, 10 essays, 123 pages
Price $19.95
ISBN 978-1-60868-529-5
Ebook ISBN 978-1-868-530-1
Publisher: New World Library
To Order:


Ten Poems for Difficult Times is about the power of poetry to start a fire
in a person's life. The poems selected by Roger Housden address familiar
themes such as joy and sorrow, grief and hope, love and loss to name but a
few. Through the poetic works of Ellen Bass, Conrad Aiken, William
Stafford and Wendell Barry, ten poets in all, Housden demonstrates how
poetry connects us to life in ways few other writing forms can do. Insightful
essays after each poem reflect Housden's mature sensitivity to the hard
questions of life. Poetry reveals a human face to our collective struggles
while reminding us that though the world is broken, it is also beautiful.


"For years, I have carried Roger Housden's poetry collections with me wherever I go.
This book comes just in time. The heart of the world is breaking, and these ten poems
are a life-giving elixir."
—Mirabai Starr, author of Caravan of No Despair and God of Love.

"I read Ten Poems for Difficult Times during a rough time in my own life, and the poems reminded
me of essential truths that I forget and must remember many times a day. Roger Housden's selection
of poems is excellent and wide-ranging, and he shares in a personal and accessible way what is most
striking to him about each one. If you're having a difficult time, or know someone who is, you'll want
to read and share these poems."
—Ellen Bass, award-winning poet and author of The Courage to Heal.


Roger Housden is the author of the new book Ten Poems for Difficult Times, the most recent addition
to his best-selling Ten Poems series, which began in 2001 with Ten Poems to Change Your Life.    He
offers writing workshops, both live and online, with an emphasis on self-discovery and exploration.
Visit him online at


The Thing Is
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.

Credit: Ellen Bass, "The Thing Is" from Mules of Love. Copyright © 2002 by Ellen Bass.
Reprinted with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of BOA


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