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Snippet of The New Yorker: Poetry: Vijay Seshadri Reads Sylvia Plath

From Audio: Vijay Seshadri Reads Sylvia Plath

Duration: 02:23
Vijay Seshadri reads his poem "Cliffhanging"
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Vijay Seshadri reads his poem "Cliffhanging"
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Vijay Seshadri reading his poem Cliff Hanging, Cliff Hanging The force is out to kill us with their benevolence are more crazed now than they were when you were alive and more focus, too. Our ingratitude excites thumb. They're bubbling with remedies, their providential impulses or a nimbus of knives. There need to tell us they love us, love us with all their love in vain. You said before you died that this would happen. Thanks for the warning. You didn't let me know, though, that even our phantom Selves would come after us crawling out of the poems we made. They don't care about the transparent skin we wrap them in so they could watch their organs pulsing within. All they know is that we made their eyes too bright. They see more than they can stand more than we ever could or would. They see the unending savagery that we could never really bear to see. And so we consigned our site to them. They hate us for it. They've cut the phone lines and our chain sawing the front door. I'm a little worried about myself because all this hostility from every quarter bothers me much less than it should. Why the disconnect? I can't figure it out, and it's long past time to take precautions. The great wave that breaks through the crust of the world is rising and rising and lifting me far inland only to suck me back and drop me dangling by one arm on the edge of the half eaten cliff. I won't let myself fall, but I don't want to pull myself up. I'm ambivalent. I'm ambivalent forever now. But if you were here looking down on me and saying, Grab my hand grabbed my hand, I would I know I surely would. I was cliff hanging.
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