What to Tip the Boatman?

Front Cover
Sheep Meadow Press, 2001 - Poetry - 77 pages
2 Reviews
There are those rare human beings among us who themselves embody so much myth, history, and poetry that what they do includes a depth of profane and sacred meaning, of before and after, whatever the present event. Cleopatra Mathis is such a poet and hero in a non-heroic age, a poet who comes back from hell, from where all heroes must go and return, offering us her poetry, a gift of new life, beauty, and understanding.

Much of this remarkable book of poems is about mothering—the poet as mother of a troubled and gifted daughter. These are “household poems” in the sense that the Iliad is about the household of Priam. The modern Greeks sometime say that a person is “put twice in the fire,” as iron is put twice in the fire to strengthen it. Cleopatra Mathis is such a person and such a poet. Her life is a flame and so is the poetry. The reader has reason to be grateful to her for this lyrical iron.

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Review: What to Tip the Boatman?

User Review  - Malcolm Alexander - Goodreads

Many of her poems concern her daughter's extreme troubles and the daughter's girlfriend who apparently shot herself at 13. The subject matter is certainly compelling. A bit more "confessional" than I generally like. Read full review

Review: What to Tip the Boatman?

User Review  - Karen Floyd - Goodreads

beautiful heart-shattering poems of how easily, and how young, we can step into darkness Read full review

Contents

The Owl
3
For Months
16
The Horse
30
Copyright

3 other sections not shown

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About the author (2001)

CLEOPATRA MATHIS's other books include Aerial View of Louisiana, The Bottom Land, The Center for Cold Weather, and Guardian, all published by The Sheep Meadow Press. She is Professor of English at Dartmouth College.

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