Reading this collection is to encounter poems no one else could have written, but also in the manner of a poet such as Emily Dickinson, to commune with a mind whose thoughts and sensations are utterly original. Added to this uniqueness is Charlotte Matthew's inexhaustible sense of wonder, her understanding and reverence of the natural world, and her craft. Green Stars heralds a stunning and important new voice in American poetry.
Charlotte Hilary Matthews has written an intense, stunning deeply generous book of poems. In Green Stars, she takes on the psychological narrative landscape usually reserved for the novel. Mournful love poems, this is an astonishingly resonant, beautifully crafted collection that constantly reminds us that the dead refuse to stay dead when we caress the details of their lives. Matthews has written a resurrection.
This is a poetry that connects grief and joy so gracefully that the dead come back to life, and life itself – ordinary town and house, childhood and family – grow suddenly rich, a stillness to be savored. Charlotte Matthews stops time in her poems. And set it moving again.
Still Enough to Be Dreaming
Still Enough to Be Dreaming reassures us that Charlotte Matthews is one of the best new poets to appear in too long a time. Her exquisite sense of balance, her talent for muted drama, her beautifully tuned sensitivity to the subtlest currents of moods and feelings produce some of the loveliest and most musical lyrics to be found anywhere. Her work is better than brilliant—it is true.
- Fred Chappell
Charlotte Matthews' moving new collection, STILL ENOUGH TO BE DREAMING, is haunted by the inevitability of loss, of disappearances. These quiet, graceful poems show us that elegant language is the stay against such loss, our words a talisman against vanishing, forgetting. What is fleeting is held here in the lovely “willed error” of metaphor: the field guide’s instructions for breath, silence, imprint, trace.
With the publication of her first book of poems, the prize-winning Green Stars (2005), Charlotte Matthews established herself as a poet of clarity and of rich resonance, able to summon up the magical heart of the every day. Now, building on the graceful strengths she displayed in that gathering, she has continued to develop her art and to discover and explore new and deeper levels of meaning. Here in the thirty-five poems of Still Enough to Be Dreaming, she goes well beyond her previous achievement as she joins together dream and fact, celebration and elegy, love and death. Her craft is flawless, her heart is admirable.