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The long-awaited third poetry book by Vijay Seshadri, “one of the most respected poets working in America today” (Time Out New York)

First I had three
apocalyptic visions, each more terrible than the last.
The graves open, and the sea rises to kill us all.
Then the doorbell rang, and I went downstairs and ...

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Overview


The long-awaited third poetry book by Vijay Seshadri, “one of the most respected poets working in America today” (Time Out New York)

First I had three
apocalyptic visions, each more terrible than the last.
The graves open, and the sea rises to kill us all.
Then the doorbell rang, and I went downstairs and signed for two packages—
            —from “This Morning”

Vijay Seshadri’s new poetry is assured and expert, his line as canny as ever. In an array of poetic forms from the rhyming lyric to the philosophical meditation to the prose essay, 3 Sections confronts perplexing divisions of contemporary life—a wayward history, an indeterminate future, and a present condition of wanting to outthink time. This is an extraordinary book, witty and vivacious, by one of America’s best poets.

Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Deft yet direct, often funny and yet alert to existential quandaries, this third outing from regular New Yorker contributor Seshadri (The Long Meadow) could be the most versatile, as well as one of the most successful, volumes this year. The fluid, disarming short poems take in modern consumer culture and age-old angst, Seshadri’s South Asian heritage, his contemporary New York (“the more punishing blocks of Park Avenue”), and our surveillance society, in which nobody really knows anyone, yet anybody can find out where you are: “Why I wanted to escape experience is nobody’s business but my own,/ but I always believed I could.” Long chatty lines sit beside tight rhymed stanzas, bleakness beside wit (“Purgatory, the Sequel”), and all of it introduces the two long works that comprise the other two sections of this three-part work. One contains Seshadri’s expansive prose essay about an Alaskan fishing boat, at “the great intersection of sea and sky… in the gloom at the edge of the world.” Even more remarkable is the lengthy “Personal Essay” in verse, a meditation on what it could mean to be personal, to be one person and not another, in this crowded age: Seshadri imagines himself as “the image of/ nothing, a face astonished by itself in the mirror/ (that couldn’t be me, could it?).” Some readers will praise him for his light touch; others, for the depth, and the literary history, that he brings to his present-day task—but praise him they should. (Sept.)
From the Publisher

Praise for 3 Sections
 
"Confront[s] contemporary dilemmas with caustic humor." —The New Yorker
 
"Deft yet direct, often funny and yet alert to existential quandaries, this third outing . . . could be the most versatile, as well as one of the most successful, volumes this year." —Publishers Weekly, starred review
 
"[Seshadri] is so talented, so able, and writes with such panache." —Booklist
 
"An extraordinarily naked modern consciousness, an intensely experienced dislocation, a beautiful intelligence: Seshadri's poetry is exhilarating." —Jonathan Franzen

"Vijay Seshadri is a skeptic and a seeker, and the speaker, the philosophical hero, of these beautifully understated, intellectually ambitious poems is also one—wry, self-scrutinizing, keenly observant, abashed, bemused, conflicted, prone to melancholy questions, troubled by his own thoughts, susceptible to daydreaming, determined to figure things out, to sum them up, to find words for them. 3 Sections is a rare adventure in conciousness." —Edward Hirsch
Praise for Vijay Seshadri:
 
“Seshadri is a son of Frost by way of Ashbery: both the high-frequency channels of consciousness and the jazz of spoken language are audible in these poems.” —The New Yorker
 
“This is a strong, almost reckless voice turning dark experience into an unrelenting sense of possibility. From the rhyming stanzas to a long prose meditation, the power of casual declamation holds sway.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781555976620
  • Publisher: Graywolf Press
  • Publication date: 9/3/2013
  • Pages: 64
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author


Vijay Seshadri is the author of two previous poetry collections, Wild Kingdom and The Long Meadow, the winner of the James Laughlin Award. He teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2013

    For those already familiar with Mr. Seshadri as one of the leadi

    For those already familiar with Mr. Seshadri as one of the leading writers of poetry and prose poetry alive today, this book will announce in no uncertain terms that he has done it again. Following in the tradition he established in his earlier books such as The Long Meadow, Seshadri writes with precision, profundity, sorrow, and humor about the modern human condition in a way that will have the discerning reader laughing, weeping, and shaking his head in wonder. 
    Like all truly great poets, Seshadri has chosen every word in this volume because it is the exact word needed to express in a beautiful way the complex emotional and intellectual responses generated by his experiences dealing with aging parents, contemplating geopolitics, and reminiscing about his own colorful past, to name but a few of the subjects in this book. Time after time Seshadri's thoughts arrive in the reader's mind as a startling realization, having at the same time a feeling of relentless inevitability.
    If you don't have the book, I'd recommend that you stop what you are doing and order it now.

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