Vikram Seth Poems

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Vikram Seth
Vikram Seth ( born June 20, 1952 is an Indian poet, novelist, travel writer, librettist, children's writer, biographer and memoirist. An unusually forthcoming writer whose published material is replete with un- or thinly-disguised details as to the personal lives of himself and his intimates related in a highly engaging narrative voice, Seth has said that he is somewhat perplexed that his readers often in consequence presume to an unwelcome degree of personal familiarity with him. Vikram Seth was born in Calcutta (now Kolkata); his family lived in a number of cities including the Bata Shoe Company town of Batanagar, near Calcutta, Patna and London, though never in Calcutta proper during his childhood, and he spent extended periods away at boarding school from the age of five. His father, Prem, was an executive of the Bata India Limited shoe company who migrated to post-Partition India from West Punjab in Pakistan; he had unsuccessfully courted a Sikh girl before meeting Seth's mother, Leila; she had had a chaste premarital dalliance with an unsuitable Christian boy and was the first woman judge on the Delhi High Court as well as the first woman to become Chief Justice of a state High Court, at Simla. She studied law in London while pregnant with Seth's younger brother and came first in her Bar examinations conducted only weeks after she delivered her second child. That child, Vikram Seth's younger brother, Shantum, leads Buddhist meditational tours; his younger sister, Aradhana, is a film-maker married to an Austrian diplomat, who worked on Deepa Mehta's Earth and Fire. (Compare the characters Haresh, Lata, Savita and two of the Chatterji siblings in A Suitable Boy: Seth has been candid in acknowledging that many of his fictional personnel are drawn from life; he has said that only the dog Cuddles in A Suitable Boy has his real name — "Because he can't sue". Justice Leila Seth has said in her memoir On Balance that other characters in A Suitable Boy are composites but Haresh is a portrait of her husband Prem.) Having lived in London for many years, Seth now maintains residences near Salisbury, England, where he is a notable participant in local literary and cultural events, having bought in 1996 and renovated the house of the seventeenth century Anglican divine and metaphysical poet George Herbert, and in Delhi, where he lives with his parents and keeps his extensive library and papers.

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From off this plastic strip the noise
Of buzzing stops. A human voice
Asks its set questio... [read poem]
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