So What Are You Reading?

Reviews of Books.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Forever Fifty. Judith Viorst

Judith Viorst has become the poet of aging with books of poetry dedicated to her lyrical and funny perceptions of each decade of life from the 20s to the 60s. With Forever Fifty And Other Negotiations she explores with insight and humor the joys and fears of being in your fifties. The book contains 24 one-page poems that are accompanied by full page graphic illustrations in green ink on a rich cream paper. The 24 graphics are reproduced on the end papers. The attention to design makes this a wonderful gift for a quinquagenarian friend.

The poems are funny and sentimental yet bittersweet. In some poems we see a person who is struggling to accept the limitations of middle age (where running wild is to go for a walk without sunscreen and memory can't be relied upon). In others she seeks the joys that come with the wisdom of years as when she says "We're quicker to laugh, and not so eager to blame." In yet others, she makes affirmations to live life "as a sexy old lady" and lists the things she'd like to do before she goes.
There are poems that take humorous looks at adult children, long-term marriage partners, and young doctors.

Overall, a wonderful but light look at the aging process of the 50s. It is a book you will enjoy, but one that will not burn into your soul.

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