This Summer and That Summer by Sanjeev Sethi

In the poem “Capsules”, Sanjeev ponders, “Has one be sedated by sadness?” While reading, This Summer and That Summer, one would think so, but it is in those same moments of reflection that we come to know and appreciate Sanjeev’s tenderness and nostalgia. Perhaps he would like one to believe that he is comfortable in his melancholy, but in “Stour” he says, “I run from myself, winded I return, debunking the illusion: escape is an easy way out.” This Summer and That Summer is a relatable body of work that embraces long-gone memories hidden behind the fluidic writing of Sanjeev.

A poet’s job is to string together words that will (hopefully) be felt by readers. Much of This Summer and That Summer resonated deeply with me. One of my favorites, “In Situ, Bangkok”, states, “Desire has its own code like that of brigands. The process isn’t important nor is the path. Need only understands fruition.” These few lines have transcended poetry and become a sort of affirmation for me. Much of Sanjeev’s poetry leaps over poetic clichés and the traditional use of words. This Summer and That Summer is original, yet still familiar. A rare body of work by a great poet.