That Was Now, This Is Then
- “Vijay Seshadri conjures the poems in That Was Now, This Is Then out of absence, fashions language from the vast and wild silences surrounding our living. Seshadri’s poetry presses into and recedes from our gaze all in the same gesture. . . . Inconceivably, Seshadri’s best yet.”—Kaveh Akbar
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”
- “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