Elder Expectations: My Life in Rictameters
by Marlys Marshall Styne


Lulu.com, 2008. ISBN 978-1-435-71771-8.
Reviewed by Judith Helburn
Posted on 07/15/2008

Poetry; Nonfiction: Elders

Elder Expectations is a "publish on demand" book of poems written by a retired English professor. I considered writing this review of her charming poems in a poem myself, challenged by the rictameter formula. Then, I realized that I had more to say than I could within the parameters of the formula. The poems are gentle, thoughtful observations of Styne's life in Chicago and life in general. Her message is that anyone can write "to discover, heal, reinvent, share and enjoy," and that the topics one writes about need not be full of drama, unusual or life-changing.

Styne obviously enjoyed writing these poems and, especially, enjoyed the challenge of writing one poem a day in the dreary month of March in Chicago. It would be fun to use Elder Expectations in a writing group experimenting with poetry.


Marlys Marshall Styne is a retired English professor who rediscovered the joys of writing and published her memoirs in 2006. She has traveled extensively and has visited all 7 continents. Visit her blog.

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