Joseph Brodsky

A list of some observation – Joseph Brodsky

A list of some observation – Joseph Brodsky

A list of some observation. In a corner, it’s warm. A glance leaves an imprint on anything it’s dwelt on. Water is glass’s most public form. Man is more frightening than its skeleton. A nowhere winter evening with wine. A black porch resists an osier’s stiff assaults. Fixed o... »

A Polar Explorer – Joseph Brodsky

A Polar Explorer – Joseph Brodsky

All the huskies are eaten. There is no space left in the diary, And the beads of quick words scatter over his spouse’s sepia-shaded face adding the date in question like a mole to her lovely cheek. Next, the snapshot of his sister. He doesn’t spare his kin: what’s been reached is t... »

Belfast Tune – Joseph Brodsky

Belfast Tune – Joseph Brodsky

Here’s a girl from a dangerous town She crops her dark hair short so that less of her has to frown when someine gets hurt. She folds her memories like a parachute. Dropped, she collects the peat and cooks her veggies at home: they shoot here where they eat. Ah, there’s more sky in these ... »

Dutch Mistress – Joseph Brodsky

Dutch Mistress – Joseph Brodsky

A hotel in whose ledgers departures are more prominent than arrivals. With wet Koh-i-noors the October rain strokes what’s left of the naked brain. In this country laid flat for the sake of rivers, beer smells of Germany and the seaguls are in the air like a page’s soiled corners. Mornin... »

Elegy – Joseph Brodsky

Elegy – Joseph Brodsky

It’s not that the Muse feels like clamming up, it’s more like high time for the lad’s last nap. And the scarf-waving lass who wished him the best drives a steamroller across his chest. And the words won’t rise either like that rod or like logs to rejoin their old grove’... »

Folk Tune – Joseph Brodsky

Folk Tune – Joseph Brodsky

It’s not that the Muse feels like clamming up, it’s more like high time for the lad’s last nap. And the scarf-waving lass who wished him the best drives a steamroller across his chest. And the words won’t rise either like that rod or like logs to rejoin their old grove’... »

Galatea Encore – Joseph Brodsky

Galatea Encore – Joseph Brodsky

As though the mercury’s under its tongue, it won’t talk. As though with the mercury in its sphincter, immobile, by a leaf-coated pond a statue stands white like a blight of winter. After such snow, there is nothing indeed: the ins and outs of centuries, pestered heather. That’s wha... »

 I Sit By The Window – Joseph Brodsky

 I Sit By The Window – Joseph Brodsky

I said fate plays a game without a score, and who needs fish if you’ve got caviar? The triumph of the Gothic style would come to pass and turn you on–no need for coke, or grass. I sit by the window. Outside, an aspen. When I loved, I loved deeply. It wasn’t often. I said the forest... »

 I threw my arms about those shoulders… – Joseph Brodsky

 I threw my arms about those shoulders… – Joseph Brodsky

Darling, you think it’s love, it’s just a midnight journey. Best are the dales and rivers removed by force, as from the next compartment throttles “Oh, stop it, Bernie,” yet the rhythm of those paroxysms is exactly yours. Hook to the meat! Brush to the red-brick dentures, ali... »

Letter to an Archaeologist – Joseph Brodsky

Letter to an Archaeologist – Joseph Brodsky

Citizen, enemy, mama’s boy, sucker, utter garbage, panhandler, swine, refujew, verrucht; a scalp so often scalded with boiling water that the puny brain feels completely cooked. Yes, we have dwelt here: in this concrete, brick, wooden rubble which you now arrive to sift. All our wires were cro... »

May 24, 1980 – Joseph Brodsky

May 24, 1980 – Joseph Brodsky

I have braved, for want of wild beasts, steel cages, carved my term and nickname on bunks and rafters, lived by the sea, flashed aces in an oasis, dined with the-devil-knows-whom, in tails, on truffles. From the height of a glacier I beheld half a world, the earthly width. Twice have drowned, thrice... »

Part Of Speech – Joseph Brodsky

Part Of Speech – Joseph Brodsky

…and when “the future” is uttered, swarms of mice rush out of the Russian language and gnaw a piece of ripened memory which is twice as hole-ridden as real cheese. After all these years it hardly matters who or what stands in the corner, hidden by heavy drapes, and your mind resoun... »

Seaward – Joseph Brodsky

Seaward – Joseph Brodsky

Darling, you think it’s love, it’s just a midnight journey. Best are the dales and rivers removed by force, as from the next compartment throttles “Oh, stop it, Bernie,” yet the rhythm of those paroxysms is exactly yours. Hook to the meat! Brush to the red-brick dentures, ali... »

Seven Strophes – Joseph Brodsky

Seven Strophes – Joseph Brodsky

I was but what you’d brush with your palm, what your leaning brow would hunch to in evening’s raven-black hush. I was but what your gaze in that dark could distinguish: a dim shape to begin with, later – features, a face. It was you, on my right, on my left, with your heated sighs,... »

Stone Villages – Joseph Brodsky

Stone Villages – Joseph Brodsky

The stone-built villages of England. A cathedral bottled in a pub window. Cows dispersed across fields. Monuments to kings. A man in a moth-eaten suit sees a train off, heading, like everything here, for the sea, smiles at his daughter, leaving for the East. A whistle blows. And the endless sky over... »

To Urania – Joseph Brodsky

To Urania – Joseph Brodsky

Everything has its limit, including sorrow. A windowpane stalls a stare. Nor does a grill abandon a leaf. One may rattle the keys, gurgle down a swallow. Loneless cubes a man at random. A camel sniffs at the rail with a resentful nostril; a perspective cuts emptiness deep and even. And what is space... »

Tsushima Screen – Joseph Brodsky

Tsushima Screen – Joseph Brodsky

The perilous yellow sun follows with its slant eyes masts of the shuddered grove steaming up to capsize in the frozen straits of Epiphany. February has fewer days than the other months; therefore, it’s more cruel than the rest. Dearest, it’s more sound to wrap up our sailing round the gl... »

Turnfallet – Joseph Brodsky

Turnfallet – Joseph Brodsky

There is a meadow in Sweden where I lie smitten, eyes stained with clouds’ white ins and outs. And about that meadow roams my widow plaiting a clover wreath for her lover. I took her in marriage in a granite parish. The snow lent her whiteness, a pine was a witness. She’d swim in the ova... »