Many of the poems in English are set in New York City around the events of September 11, 2001. In the faux prologue poem 'About the Author', the narrator finds himself 'on Sixth, watching ruin, with / a handful of rain and a prophecy': a citizen of no country except the republic that gives the book its title, the Republic of English. Here, English is more than a language. It is a river of the world.
'Thayil's poems refract his vibrant, unique and far-flung life experiences through the prism of his tremendous lyric intellect. The result is a fantastic realism that will haunt me forever. Thayil's English first spices a transcendent command of diverse registers of literary and colloquial speech with certain sprung local talk, but then melts all that into an infinitely focused and inventive, personal and emotional idiolect, delivered in one of the most unforgettable voices of our time. He is a master of the knockout lyric punchline. Some of these poems made me cry, which is rare.' - PHILIP NIKOLAYEV
Jeet Thayil's first full-length collection, Apocalypso, is a gritty, intense exploration of love and its secular limits. Song-like rhythms offer Biblical imagery and a lyric view of the wild side. Detached, tough, and vulnerable at the same time, the raw, intimate poems in this collection point towards the work that would follow. They examine and lay bare the mystery of love--its heartbreak and exaltation, and its redemptive, enduring power.
Everybody betrays everybody, you said
'Thayil's poems light up a corner of the dirty world, imbuing it with a near-holy radiance. The beautiful uncompromising poems in this selection are an achievement.' - ADIL JUSSAWALLA
|English + Apocalypso Flipbook
|December 5, 2022