By turns discursive, dramatic, and lyrical, AUGUSTINE'S VISION presents a startlingly good poet who courageously interrogates ideas of evil, sin, and death while celebrating the goodness of creation, including both nature and the creations of humankind. Indeed, many of the poems are inspired responses to other artists: Vermeer, Monet, Wilfred Owen, Polanski's Chinatown. The poet's own work bids fair to inspire others, as beautiful phrases such as "flowers / afloat on the air" or "a stillness loud with geese" float to the surface of the page. In particular, his poem "Waterlilies," consisting of a single sentence that runs for twenty-one lines, is a marvelous summation of the contrary elements that art makes cohere. You won't want to miss this ambitious collection that possesses poise, grace, and intellectual fearlessness.
- KELLY CHERRY