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Protocols -- Vikram Seth

Guest poem submitted by Vidur:
(Poem #754) Protocols
 What can I say to you? How can I retract
 All that that fool, my voice, has spoken_
 Now that the facts are plain, the placid surface cracked,
 The protocols of friendship broken?

 I cannot walk by day as now I walk at dawn
 Past the still house where you lie sleeping.
 May the sun burn these footprints on the lawn
 And hold you in its warmth and keeping.
-- Vikram Seth
Vikram Seth needs no introduction. Although he is better known for a certain
volumnious book that fetched him fame and fortune, I find his verse far
better than any of his prose. This poem is from his collection "All You Who
Sleep Tonight", the title poem of which was on this list some time ago.

What I like about the poem is the simple, elegant form, its ability to
convey volumes of emotion with economy of verse and of course, the all too
familiar experience it talks about.


[Minstrels Links]

Poems by Vikram Seth:
Poem #460, "Round and Round"
Poem #650, "All You Who Sleep Tonight"

Vikram Seth is also known for his interpretations of Chinese poets such as
Li Po, Tu Fu and Wang Wei. The former has featured on the Minstrels before:
Poem #504, "About Tu Fu"
Poem #749, "Parting"
Poem #683, "To Tu Fu from Shantung"
Poem #70, "The River-Merchant's Wife: A Letter"
(The first three above are translated by Sam Hamill; the fourth by Ezra

And finally, other contemporary Indian poets writing in English to have
featured on the Minstrels include Eunice de Souza:
Poem #682, "Advice to Women"
Poem #603, "Marriages are Made"
and Nissim Ezekiel:
Poem #714, "Night of the Scorpion"
Poem #364, "The Patriot"
Poem #579, "The Professor"

25 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

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Poem #682, "Advice to Women" is his masterpiece, I love the way this guy complains about almost everything.

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