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Vahni Capildeo's Measures of Expatriation (Carcanet, 2016)


Here are some favourite passages from this dense, rich collection:

Had the ecstatic efficiency of its heart thumped to a stop?

from "Fire & Darkness: And Also / No Join / Like"

Their aura of sociability expanded, spreading with a faint juddering as they drew near.

*

He was an infant Perseus. He was cause; the rest of the world, effect.

*

I could not finish the loaf. It was a hungry thing. There was too much time in it.

from "Too Solid Flesh"

We're readied by

being gone again.

end of "María Lloró / Blue Sky Tears"

The window, who believes in this poem

it is the only thing personified;

grieving after wholeness....

from "Neomarica Sky Jet"

...a long-lashed

essentially solitudinous yet

occasionally-leaning giraffe....

from "Cities in Step"

I split,

spill truth like marrow from bones, gleaming on stone-strewn ground.

from "Kassandra #memoryandtrauma #livingilionstyle"

Day persisted, eggshell and semiprecious. I could not see with whom, but we had to keep up.

*

We left town where town had given up on being town.

from "The Book of Dreams / Livre de Cauchemars"

...the wide, one-eyed mercy of a lake....

*

Bring me to your son, blossoming in his cradle.

from "Snake in the Grass"

Every word an exhalation, a driving-out.

last line of "In 2190, Albion's Civil Conflicts Finally

Divided Along Norman-Saxon Lines"

Expatriation: my having had a patria, a fatherland, to leave, did not occur to me until I was forced to invent one.

*

Migrant is cerulean and khaki and it has a lot to say for itself once encamped temporarily by a river that will do.

...aspirational, windowgazing, briefly guttering lives. The imposition of this house feels more impersonal, like rain.

*

Recognition: can it happen? Can a family survive it?

from "All Your Houses"

Launch in sighted

darkness our pack of languages, fluid as hounds,

all ready: bathed: riteful: already intending chase

end of "Sycorax Whoops"

Buy Measures of Expatriation directly from the publisher here.

#MeasuresofExpatriation #Carcanet #VahniCapildeo

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