That Was Now, This Is Then
- “The essence of Seshadri’s writing is conversation, and that conversation is coiling and liquid, not diffident. Seshadri is fluent in an unusually wide range of forms — he ranges here from rhymed quatrains to fat blocks of prose — and his voice is typically chatty, probing, importuning, self-mocking. . . . He’s a poet who mesmerizes not by stillness but by zigs and zags.”—The New York Times Book Review
I wanted to curl up
in the comfortable cosmic melancholy of my past,
in the sadness of my past being passed.
I wanted to tour the museum of my antiquities
and look at the sarcophagi there.
I wanted to wallow like a water buffalo in the cool,
sagacious mud of my past,
so I wrote you and said I’d be in town and could we meet.
—from “Visiting San Francisco”
- “These poems movingly capture the feeling of being suspended in a moment. . . . Fans of Seshadri will find the thoughtfulness, humor, and lyric precision they have come to expect from the poet.”—Publishers Weekly
- “A candid recognition of the psychic and spiritual trauma these disruptive times have wrought. . . . In an engaging, confiding tone that embraces both wit and compassion, Seshadri enlists poetry, what he calls ‘spooky action at a distance,’ to assure us that despite the historical moment’s forced isolation and heightened sociopolitical stress, we need not feel we’re alone.”—Library Journal
- “[Vijay Seshadri’s] intellectually nimble new collection . . . reads like a warning to readers in ways real and emotional. . . . It has such power and unease, you may leave it feeling less alone.”—Lit Hub
- “Seshadri's intellectually graceful poems offer refuge in emotionally turbulent times and invite readers to cross the sacred threshold typically separating the poet from his rapt audience.”—Shelf Awareness, starred review