Review by Kathryn Robinson Belsey
A man who has been through bitter experiences and travelled far enjoys even his sufferings after a time. —Homer
The destiny of man is in his own soul. —Herodotus
When a poet assembles a collection of old, new, and revised work, and his publisher calls the result the poet’s “magnum opus,” one is compelled to ask what it is about this collection that makes it a great, cohesive masterpiece. Why these poems and not others? Why this order? It is Mariani’s creative process, his inspired decision-making, that lifts this new collection, Epitaphs for the Journey (Cascade Books, 2012), from personal and historical chronicle—rooted in the poet’s working-class roots, academic career, and spiritual formation—to the timeless level of an ancient classic.