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That Was Now, This Is Then

Poems
Vijay Seshadri

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”

No one blends ironic intelligence, emotional frankness, radical self-awareness, and complex humor the way Vijay Seshadri does. In this, his fourth collection, he affirms his place as one of America’s greatest living poets. That Was Now, This Is Then takes on the planar paradoxes of time and space, destabilizing highly tuned lyrics and elegies with dizzying turns in poems of unrequitable longing, of longing for longing, of longing to be found, of grief. In these poems, Seshadri’s speaker becomes the subject, the reader becomes the writer, and the multiplying refracted narratives yield an “anguish so pure it almost / feels like joy.”

 

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$24.00
ISBN
978-1-64445-036-9
Format
Hardcover
Publication Date
Subject
Pages
80
Trim Size
7 x 9
The brilliant new collection from Vijay Seshadri, author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning 3 Sections
 

 

About the Author

Vijay  Seshadri
Credit: Lisa Pines

Vijay Seshadri was born in Bangalore, India, and came to America as a small child. He is the author of three collections of poems: 3 Sections, winner of the Pulitzer Prize; The Long Meadow, winner of the James Laughlin Award of the Academy of American Poets; and Wild Kingdom. He is currently the Myers Professor of Writing at Sarah Lawrence College and lives in Brooklyn, New York.
 

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Praise

  • “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
  • “Seshadri is known for elaborate lines and evocative images, and he has built a career around the unexpected turns his lyrics often take. This new collection is no exception, conjuring small moments of intense personal intimacy, as well as broad snapshots of surprising expanses.”Booklist
  • “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
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