University of California Press, 2011
Reddy's second book of poems uses as its source text the memoir of Kurt Waldheim, secretary-general of the UN from 1972 to 1981, who kept silent about his past as an intelligence offer in Hitler's regime. Through a series of erasures in varied forms, Reddy translates and retranslates Waldheim's memoir and creates a narrative somehow steeped in universality. As Marjorie Perloff writes, "Voyager does what no "original" history poem could do: it exposes 'Waldheim's disease' as much more than one individual's particular mendacity." Themes of power, identity, self-realization, hope, and leadership permeate this collection, which, as John Ashbery notes, "unwinds at a hypnotic pace, inexorable as a set of philosophic prepositions, yet also strangely
porous, like poetry." From the last poem in the second series of translations:
Now I realize that, in the theatres of neutrality,
the heart freezes. This is a difficult problem.
Everybody watches the wheel as it turns...
I embraced a new work. It was
engendered in my dream. It was built of desire.
Experience taught me that, in the final analysis,
nothing ends. The first steps must follow.