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The title of this collection—at times mournful, sardonic, and joyous—refers to the grief in the wake of loss. Yet these poems aren't just about the consequences of loss but also about the complex experiences of endurance, acquiescence, and rebirth that, with luck, mark the aftermath of sorrow.


Skill and passion intersect in this treasure house of a book. Gilbert's deft sonnets illuminate a wide range of subjects from 'the long-gone picnic-perfect days' to the deeply moving poems that elegize her mathematician lover - Maxine Kumin


These are haunted and haunting poems. They catalog griefs, they make an elegy for parts of the past. But what surprises at every turn is the music, the craft and the beautiful discipline that renders grief into meaning, and heals loss with language. A wonderful collection. - Eavan Boland


Sandra Gilbert is one of our finest poets of the sensual joys and physical/metaphysical tragedies of contemporary life. She is a superb elegist, whose elegies nonetheless overflow with the brilliant detail of human survival. She is also among the best American writers of the sonnet. And this is one of her best books. - Marilyn Hacker