In one of the poems in Summer Requiem, the most recent of the books in this capacious volume, Seth recalls when he decided to write, 'What even today puzzles me by its birth, / The Golden Gate, that sad and happy thing, / Child of my youth, my first wild fictive fling.' Written in the difficult stanza form of Pushkin's Eugene Onegin, it was published to great acclaim and probably remains the best known of Seth's poetic works. It was from reading The Golden Gate (1986) that Gwen Harwood came to use the Onegin stanza, and through Harwood that I discovered it, so I have always felt a sort of gratitude at one remove to Seth. Not included in this collection, it was a virtuoso achievement, hard to foresee from Mappings (1980), his earliest book.
Stephen Edgar reviews 'Collected Poems' by Vikram Seth
Read the rest of this article by subscribing to ABR Online for as little as $10 a month. We offer a range of subscription options, including print, which can be found by clicking here. If you are already a subscriber, enter your username and password in the ‘Log In’ section in the top right-hand corner of the screen. If you require assistance, contact us or consult the Frequently Asked Questions page.
Stephen Edgar’s latest collection is Exhibits of the Sun (Black Pepper, 2014). His previous book, Eldershaw, was joint winner of the Colin Roderick Award for 2013 and was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards in 2014.
By this contributor
Leave a comment
Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.
NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.