This month for Poetry 365 we’re featuring Vijay Seshadri’s remarkable new book 3 Sections. Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, this third collection from the regular New Yorker essayist and book critic employs a wide array of poetic forms to examine modern consumer culture, age-old angst, and Seshardri’s South Asian Heritage. Favorably compared to the work of Robert Frost by way of John Ashbery, these expertly-crafted poems show why Time Out New York named Seshadri “one of the most respected poets working in America today.” So don’t miss this terrific new book, sample a poem below, and make sure to stop back next month for Poetry 365.
How strange would it be if you met yourself on the street?
How strange if you liked yourself,
took yourself in your arms, married your own self,
propagated by techniques known only to you,
and then populated the world? Replicas of you are everywhere.
Some are Arabs. Some are Jews. Some live in yurts. It is
an abomination, but better that your
sweet and scrupulously neat self
emerges at many points on the earth to watch the horned moon rise
than all those dolts out there,
turning into pillars of salt wherever we look.
If we have to have people, let them be you,
spritzing your geraniums, driving yourself to the haberdashery,
killing your supper with a blowgun.
Yes, only in the forest do you feel at peace,
up in the branches and down in the terrific gorges,
but you’ve seen through everything else.
You’ve fled in terror across the frozen lake,
you’ve found yourself in the sand, the palace,
the prison, the dockside stews;
and long ago, on this same planet, you came home
to an empty house, poured a Scotch-and-soda,
and sat in a recliner in the unlit rumpus room,
puzzled at what became of you.
Russell J. (Readers’ Services)