This is Rowan Williams' third collection of poems, poems of subtlety and complexity - and passion. They range widely in subject, place and mood. The poet visits a martyrs' memorial and a prison in Uganda. He meditates on the story of St Serafim of Sarov at the rock where 'at night Serafim knelt on the same rock, three long years'. He hears Bach's St Matthew Passion and is 'exhausted with new grief, old treacheries, the view without prospect'. He watches the 'black eyes fixed half-open' of Piero's Jesus and waits, 'paralysed as if in dreams, for his spring'. He celebrates - and translates the work of - the contemporary Russian poet, Inna Lisnianskaya. In several poems he reflects on the rivers of life, from their headwaters to the sea, and on landscapes and townscapes.