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Vikram Seth

The Wind

With no companion to my mood,
Against the wind as it should be,
I walk, but in my solitude
Bow to the wind that buffets me.

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Research in Jiangsu Province

Some days I feel a sadness not of grief
The shadows lengthen on the earth's relief
Salinas flows by like a silver shawl
A girl waves from the mission wall.

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Song 'Coast Starlight

Some days I feel a sadness not of grief
The shadows lengthen on the earth's relief
Salinas flows by like a silver shawl
A girl waves from the mission wall.

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Interpretation

Somewhere within your loving look I sense,
Without the least intention to deceive,
Without suspicion, without evidence,
Somewhere within your heart the heart to leave.

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Promise

I will be easy company; the blur
Of what I longed for once will fade to space.
No thought that could discomfort you will stir.
My eyes will painlessly survey your face.

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Prandial Plaint

My love, I love your breasts, I love your nose.
I love your accent and I love your toes.
I am your slave. One word, and I obey.
But please don't slurp your morning brew that way.

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Night Watch

Awake for hours and staring at the ceiling
Through the unsettled stillness of the night
He grows possessed of the obsessive feeling
That dawn has come and gone and brought no light.

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All You Who Sleep Tonight

All you who sleep tonight
Far from the ones you love,
No hand to left or right
And emptiness above -

Know that you aren't alone
The whole world shares your tears,
Some for two nights or one,
And some for all their years.

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Last Night

Last night your faded memory came to me
As in the wilderness spring comes quietly,
As, slowly, in the desert moves thew breeze,
As to a sick man, without cause, comes peace

[Original: Urdu, Translated by: Faiz Ahmed Faiz]

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Time Zones

I willed my love to dream of me last night, that we might lie
at peace, if not beneath a single sheet, under one sky.
I dreamed of her but she could not alas humour my will;
it struck me suddenly that where she was was daylight still.

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