In Epitaphs for the Journey: New, Selected and Revised Poems, Paul Mariani revisits forty years of writing poems, including revising many of his earlier lyrics, to shape his latest volume into a life lived and lived again over the past seven decades. The eight sections--or cantos--each composed of twelve poems, cover roughly a decade apiece and contour Mariani's search for answers to the constant interplay of the felt presence of the Mystery we call God as it plays with the modern imagination. Mariani's background is Catholic and broadly classic, and warmly embraces all aspects of Christianity and Judaism and the world even beyond those.
The Poiema Poetry Series
Poems are windows into worlds; windows into beauty, goodness, and truth; windows into understandings that won't twist themselves into tidy dogmatic statements; windows into experiences. We can do more than merely peer into such windows; with a little effort we can fling open the casements, and leap over the sills into the heart of these worlds. We are also led into familiar places of hurt, confusion, and disappointment, but we arrive in the poet's company. Poetry is a partnership between poet and reader, seeking together to gain something of value--to get at something important.
Ephesians 2:10 says, "We are God's workmanship . . ." poiema in Greek--the thing that has been made, the masterpiece, the poem. The Poiema Poetry Series presents the work of gifted poets who take Christian faith seriously, and demonstrate in whose image we have been made through their creativity and craftsmanship.
These poets are recent participants in the ancient tradition of David, Asaph, Isaiah, and John the Revelator. The thread can be followed through the centuries--through the diverse poetic visions of Dante, Bernard of Clairvaux, Donne, Herbert, Milton, Hopkins, Eliot, R.S. Thomas, and Denise Levertov--down to the poet whose work is in your hand. With the selection of this volume you are entering this enduring tradition, and as a reader contributing to it.
--D.S. Martin, Series Editor