Had Herbert hewed to the leftwing/socialist line, he would have won the Nobel Prize years ago. He didn't, however, and, like Borges, he was denied the prize in favor of much lesser writers. Thankfully he was honored by the Ingersoll Foundation a few years before his death with The T.S. Eliot Award for Creative Writing, an award conferred for merit, not idealogy. Herbert's poems have an elegant austerity born out of his own privations and the loss he experienced and witnessed for most of his life, first at the hands of the Nazis, then the Communists. But he is not without hope and humor. The book is divided into three sections: the first comprised of early poems, the second by a sequence of wry, lovely, surprising prose poems, the last of latterday work. Among the outstanding pieces here are "A Small Bird" and the title poem, a magnificent farewell to art and to life that could well serve as Herbert's epitaph. Here's hoping his name and work win the widespread attention they deserve.