The Humble Administrator’s Garden


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In his second collection of poems, Vikram Seth reflects on three cultures he knows well: India, California and China. He writes about Chinese noblemen and hermits; lovers whom he has outgrown or who have outgrown him; the night sounds and sights on a deserted California beach; the power of moonlight and music to both hurt and heal.

Summing up the effect of this brilliant collection, the poet and critic Donald Davie wrote: ‘[These] poems should have an impact far beyond much noisier pieces; for when did we last see a volume in which the poet’s eye is on what is objectively before him, rather than on the intricacies of his own sensibility?’

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