When Did I Stop Being 20

ViorstThis collection of poems by Judith Viorst was published in 1987. The full title is When Did I Stop Being 20 and Other Injustices. While Viorst’s work is often laugh-out-loud funny, it is perceptive. Lovely and entertaining illustrations were contributed by John Alcorn.

Here is one short selection, titled “The Break.”

So I told my parents:

No I do not believe in free love.

And yes I will be home for Sunday dinners.

And no I do not approve of marijuana.

And yes I will take showers daily.

And no I will not turn out like my cousin Ethel.

(I think she is living with a married man in Tulsa.)

And yes I will get a police lock.

And eat a good breakfast every morning.

And only talk to men I am introduced to.

So they said:

If I must be independent

And make it hard for them to sleep at nights,

I might as well do it in Greenwich Village,

Which at least isn’t far from Irvington, New Jersey.


Judith Viorst, in addition to numerous books of poetry, is the author of eight children’s books.

Published in: on October 26, 2015 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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