Since the late 1970s, Linda Pastan has been writing “quiet” verse on marriage, family, parenting, and grief. While she was a senior at Radcliffe College, she won Mademoiselle’s poetry prize (in case you didn’t know, Sylvia Plath was the runner-up). Despite that success, for the next decade, Pastan put poetry aside to raise her family, until her husband urged her to return to writing. In those 10 years, Pastan focused on pregnancy, childbirth, raising a family, keeping a house and cultivating a relationship, all necessary but difficult things. Rewarding yes, but clearly also requiring attention, diligence, work and constancy.