How can one do justice to the heights and depths of the human condition, its mind-boggling accomplishments, its horrid corruptions?
Christian tradition, in its wisdom, has acknowledged both extremes. We are fallible amphibians, composed of matter and spirit, yet capable of intense communication with God. Bazyn poetically expands on, and dissects, the conundrums. Frustrations dog our every step, and cravings overthrow us repeatedly. Why are we so prone to duplicity, to prejudice? What causes us to explode in anger, retreat into superficiality, see only the short-term? Why do we mistreat and ridicule others (e.g., the poor, minorities, women)? Free will itself can create saints or antiheroes.
Rich in vocabulary, dense in allusions, far-ranging in insight, at times aphoristic in style, these poems are the outpourings of anguished authenticity. What message is our town bell pealing today? Why are there flaws beneath the smoothest of surfaces? How is it that we so often follow a zigzag course? If revelation comes, it may blind us or shine but a dim, shadowy half-light. Bazyn's spontaneous, undoctored black-and-white images clarify, and add nuance, to each vital topic. As Augustine forthrightly acknowledged in Confessions: "I have become a puzzle to myself."