1. Home
  2. Poetry Magazine
  3. Poems
  4. The Vision of Saint Augustine by Beverley Bie Brahic
The Vision of Saint Augustine

Related Poem Content Details

Carpaccio, San Giorgio degli Schiavoni, Venice

You are amazed to find trees in Venice —
To turn a corner into a campo
Where two or three rustling acacias
Spread their halo of leaves
Over two or three red-slatted benches.
It’s as if you had slipped through a curtained doorway
Into a hall full of dull gold scenes
By Carpaccio — a miraculous light —
Though the rio’s still shrouded in a mist
Compounded of water vapour and smog
So it’s not that the sun has come out, it’s
Something to do with the leaves and painting

In the realm of echoes where footsteps
Reverberate endlessly between two walls
And dawn is the chink of a stonemason
At his reparations, disembodied
Voices irresistible as bird calls.
Yes, you’re amazed to find trees in Venice
Shedding their gold leaf onto the pavement
Outside a secondhand bookstore.
It’s like Carpaccio’s little white dog
Wagging his tail at the feet of Saint Augustine
Who is staring out of the window
Looking for the voice of Saint Jerome.

Beverley Bie, “The Vision of Saint Augustine” from Against Gravity (Worple Press, England, 2005). Published by permission of the author.
Source: Poetry (Poetry Foundation, 2005)

More from this issue

This poem originally appeared in the October 2001 issue of Poetry magazine

  • Search every issue of Poetry

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine. Search the whole site

The Vision of Saint Augustine

Related Poem Content Details

  • Poet and translator Beverley Bie Brahic was born in Canada and now lives in Paris and the San Francisco Bay Area. Her poetry collection White Sheets (CB editions, 2012) was a finalist for the Forward Prize. Her work has appeared in Field, Literary Imagination, Notre Dame Review, the Southern Review, the Times Literary Supplement, and elsewhere.

    Beverley Bie Brahic’s translations include Guillaume Apollinaire: The Little Auto (CB editions, 2012); Francis Ponge: Unfinished Ode to Mud (CB editions, 2009), a finalist for the Popescu Prize for Poetry in Translation; Julia Kristeva: This Incredible Need to Believe (Columbia University Press, 2009), a finalist for the French American Foundation Translation Prize; Jacques Derrida’s Geneses, Genealogies, Genres, and Genius (Columbia UP, 2006); and several works of Hélène Cixous, including Twists and Turns in the Heart’s Antarctic (Polity, 2011), Hyperdream (Polity, 2009), and Portrait of Jacques Derrida as a Young Jewish Saint (Columbia UP, 2005).

    Brahic has been awarded a Canada Council for the Arts Writing Grant.
     

  • Poem Categorization

    If you disagree with this poem's categorization make a suggestion.
  • Search every issue of Poetry

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine. Search the whole site

Other Information