The poems of Stone Milk address the way the written word preserves yet distorts the lives depending on it for fame or survival. Anne Stevenson�s highly engaging new collection opens with A Lament for the Makers, an experimental sequence based on medieval dream poetry that plays with a Dante-inspired yet modern, scientific vision of an underworld of poets. This is followed by a series of shorter poems, mostly related to ageing and the prospect (even the comfort) of dying. The Myth of Medea ends the book on a note both stoic and merry, despite its frank look at the reality of death. Stevenson rewrites the myth as an �entertainment� to be set to music � her own original take on how ancient, classical stories are reinterpreted by societies that inherit and retell them.