Linda Pastan used to suffer from what she calls the “perfectly polished floor syndrome,” a nagging obligation to serve a homemade dessert to her husband each night. But by age 30, she’d begun to channel her domestic energies into poetry. Traveling Light, Pastan’s 14th book of modest yet eloquent observations, is a departure from her previous volumes, most of which are filled with ruminations on her largely quiet life as a mother and wife in Potomac, Md. With her children fully grown, Pastan is now traveling, visiting galleries, and—as she nears 80—wondering how she’ll be remembered. Mortality may be Pastan’s driving concern, but in Traveling Light, she still manages to find beauty in everyday life. Talk about aging gracefully.

PASTAN SPEAKS AT 7 P.M. AT POLITICS AND PROSE, 5015 CONNECTICUT AVE. NW. FREE. (202) 364-1919.