Poetry Month 2016: Vijay Seshadri
The Scholar Illusions she didn’t know she had were shattered when she saw in the text she was cleaning up— the corrupt recension of the now lost text— not the cypress of heaven or the morphology of a recurring type or the riverbank where a god dances but her own self’s circumstances, and not in the lover but the miserable sinner who, as the poem trembled to the death of its god, drew back in fear and so came to be noticed by the demon who so resembled her sworn enemy in her department, with his bleak chin and his knowing look. Though prodded by him she did write the book that captured it all—god, demon, lover, avatar, the ascension by night, the great battle, the sobbing behind the ruined lattice— and suspended it between her mother tongues in the cat’s cradle of her scholarly apparatus— made from shards, really, but mysteriously there. [From The Long Meadow] ~ From the publisher’s Web site: Vijay Seshadri’s first collection of poems, Wild Kingdom, was celebrated as one of the most exciting debuts in years. In The Long Meadow, Seshadri presents a brilliant array of formally inventive and emotionally powerful new poems in which the poet’s wit and vivacity are poised against the alarming complexities of human experience. Through disparate forms and strategies, from the long narrative and the brief rhyming lyric to the prose meditation, The Long Meadow looks into and through our troubled world with a poetic sensibility that transforms history into metaphysics and disaster into possibility. Here is the voice of one of contemporary poetry’s new masters.