Skip to main navigation Skip to main content

Tsitsi Dangarembga, whose novel This Mournable Body was longlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize this week, has been freed on bail after being arrested while protesting in Zimbabwe Read more here

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.”

 

Share Title

$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 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.
 

More by author

Praise

  • “Seshadri’s is a voice that speaks honestly, without any patronizing, a voice that wants to see in each of us ‘the free person, the truly free, free from time, space’. . . . The only way to speak in our time’s moment. Or, any moment.”—Ilya Kaminsky
  • “Vijay Seshadri is arch and canny, a maestro of noir ironies. . . . These are poems of lacerating self-awareness and stoic compassion. That Was Now, This Is Then is a book we need, right now.”—Rosanna Warren
Back to Table of Contents