to the pub, just going to get some cigarettes. See you
in about ten minutes.’ He didn’t come back and I
couldn’t find him anywhere. For the next few months
I heard his voice everywhere, I heard him talking to
Nanny in the kitchen, I heard his footfall in the studio
stairs and the sound of him crossing the room but he
was never there…. Dom had vanished, completely.
He closed the front door behind him and disappeared.
What followed was a transformation of the young Romantically-inspired poet, as he sought out formal choices for his poetry, including poets such as Robert Conquest, Kinsley Amis and others of what came to be called “The Group.” Much of that poetry came to be described by both the poet and others as a kind of poetry which many Indian critics described as that of a “nostalgist, a dreamer, and alien.” Moraes himself characterized his emotions of the period as he moved back from India to London in 1968:
The old excitement, the thrill in the blood that
produced a poem, the rhythms that had sung them-
selves in my head, the complete lines that came out
of nowhere, none of these visited me anymore, nor
could they be compelled to do so. I could not put
their absence out of my mind. A recurring dream was
the lines written on it. When I awoke, I sometimes
thought this had actually happened, that during the
night I had written a poem which would be lying amidst
the debris of my desk. But it was never so. Altogether,
these were very bad days for me.
Conclude in tedium, for applause is
Disallowed here, perhaps for always.
May nicitate at suns they do not use,
Caress, as it leaves, the compromise.
Analysed by tears, dry lenses stare
Into a false despair, adieux unuttered.
Dehydrate words, helpless silences.
Never such tenderness as in these.
That fall apart, not heard of after.
Such long preambles to absurd ends.
he only threw himself away
as of no further use.
he fell till he ceased to fee
dignified, any more.
as the red yolk from the skull
slithered into the sand.
He never called, words came
tamely as birds to him.
as they hear Brandeth's bones
crack in God's black teeth.