This is a collection of 111 poems, all about women who are old. As the editor says in her introduction, it is not a book about becoming old, but about being old, and the book bears the pointed reminder that an old woman is still a woman, as well as being old (vii). The poems are arranged in ten sections, from portraits of old women (usually grandmothers, here) as seen by the young, through explorations of their work and wisdom, their relationships and sexuality, the vivid and sometimes shocking realities of their bodies, their illnesses and weaknesses, institutionalization and nursing homes, and finally, their confrontations with death and the sense of loss in those they leave behind.


An illuminating, moving, and often exhilarating collection. Many of the poems, especially as they are grouped, with their juxtapositions and contrasts, would make excellent material for medical school classes.


Utah State Univ. Press

Place Published

Logan, Utah




Leatrice H. Lifshitz

Page Count