Literary reviews by Tim Love.
Warning: Rather than reviews, these are often notes in preparation for reviews that were never finished, or pleas for help with understanding pieces. See Litref Reviews - a rationale for details.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

"Summer requiem" by Vikram Seth (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2016)

The contemplation of sunsets and time passing communicated through formalist verse. Here are some extracts

  • Evening across the sky -
    The glow dies in the west.
    The last crows fly,
    Cawing, each to its nest.
    An early moon it here.
    The stars appear.
    Safe from all thought, all fear,
    Now, heart, find rest
  • May you know love, and may it be
    Returned to you as willingly.
    If not, well, may you love in vain.
    And know, if not that joy, this pain.
  • This was a day that came and went.
    I don't know how the day was spent.
    The sun rose up and reached its height.
    The sun went down and it was night.
    Somehow the hours that passed between
    Dispersed as if they'd never been
    Though I attended every one
    Till both the day and I were done
  • And there - beyond the surf - a fin!
    A curved back - and another - three!
    Three dolphins ballet in the din
    In bottle-nosed felicity.
        How beautiful! They turn to greet us.
        We love them, since they cannot eat us.

There may be good poems here too - the title poem for example.

Other reviews

  • James Walton (Long before his novel A Suitable Boy conquered the world in the Nineties, Vikram Seth was a highly regarded poet, with his second collection, The Humble Administrator’s Garden, winning a Commonwealth Poetry Prize in 1983 ... this is a collection that reads at times like a Renaissance study in melancholy, with lost love and painful memories its central themes)
  • Sudeep Sen (a quiet and meditative book)

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