Home > Highly Recommended, Indian Literature, Novel, Poetry, Seth Vikram > The Golden Gate : Appetizer

The Golden Gate : Appetizer

September 19, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments


A week ago, when I had finished

Writing the chapter you’ve just read

And with avidity undiminished

Was charting out the course ahead,

An editor –at a plush party

(Well-wined, -provisioned, speechy, hearty)

Hosted by (long live!) Thomas Cook

Where my Tibetan travel book

Was honored–seized my arm: “Dear fellow,

What’s your next work?” “A novel…” ” Great!

We hope that you, dear Mr Seth–”

“…In verse,” I added. He turned yellow.

“How marvelously quaint,” he said,

And subsequently cut me dead.



Professor, publisher, and critic

Each voiced his doubts. I felt misplaced.

A writer is a mere arthritic

Among these muscular Gods of Taste.

As for that sad blancmange, a poet–

The world is hard; he ought to know it.

Driveling in rhyme’s all very well;

The question is, does spittle sell?

Since staggering home in deep depression,

My will’s grown weak. My heart is sore.

My lyre is dumb. I have therefore

Convoked a morale-boosting session

With a few kind if doubtful friends

Who’ve asked me to explain my ends.


This reader to Mr Seth just says: “Thank God writers are stubborn and do as they please.”

To the readers of this post, she promises “See you soon with a billet about this luminous book.”

But more importantly she cries out THANKS SCOTT!!! 🙂

  1. September 20, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    Don’t know how long this book is, but reading it may do something permanent to your brain.


    • September 20, 2014 at 6:25 pm

      It’s not very long but it’ll stay with me.


  2. September 20, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    I take it you liked it, then?


    • September 20, 2014 at 6:25 pm

      Liked it? Loved it!


  3. September 20, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    I’ve “only ever” read A Suitable Boy and I loved not just the book but also Vikram Seth’s playful insertion of these little poems. I’m looking forward to reading what you have to say about The Golden Gate!


    • September 20, 2014 at 8:13 pm

      Billet coming soon. (if I manage to put down Run River by Didion to write my billet)


  4. October 7, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    Loved the verses you have quoted, Emma. So beautiful.


    • October 9, 2014 at 10:05 pm

      Thanks. I wanted to share this quote. It’s representative of Seth’s spirit, I think.


  1. September 20, 2014 at 11:00 pm

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