top of page
Search
  • Writer's pictureCarrie Etter

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.

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"

51 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Autumn Events

While the busyness of the autumn term, alongside teaching my online Reading to Write Prose Poetry course, means that I'm not doing a lot of events in the next few months (I'm also gearing up for the l

Writing Short Stories

I've been writing and publishing short stories as long as I've been writing and publishing poems--that is, since I was a teenager. In the 80s, I largely wrote stories (hopefully now lost) for a Midwes

bottom of page