These Were My Homes

August 29, 2018

‘In Vijay’s intelligent, self-aware meditations on mortality and human folly in this final and complete volume of his poems, readers will come to as close an apprehension of the nature of epiphany as is possible—to those sudden illuminations of the spirit that can, without warning, light up flares in our dull, corporeal bodies. [The] 111 poems in this slender volume written over his brief lifetime…display…a keen understanding of science and its uncompromising rationality (“radium decays a little bit at a time”), of the temporary bonds of love and desire, of waddling ducks and arching cats, of the particular genealogies of speech that Vijay came to inherit through his father, his grandparents, his mother and aunts, and of the questing history of our bipedal species… In the title poem of this volume, “These Were My Homes”, Vijay tracks a path from the safe womb to the single “bed in which to breathe my last of air”. I can think of few poets who have better traversed that eternal arc.’ —From the Introduction by Rukmini Bhaya Nair

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