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May 24, 1980 - Poem By Joseph Brodsky - Read Classic Poetry Online

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May 24, 1980

Poem By: Joseph Brodsky   |   Views: 1203   |   Word Count: 174   |   View PDF   |   Print View

  


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 let knives rake my nitty-gritty.
Quit the country the bore and nursed me.
Those who forgot me would make a city.
I have waded the steppes that saw yelling Huns in saddles, worn the clothes nowadays back in fashion in every quarter, planted rye, tarred the roofs of pigsties and stables, guzzled everything save dry water. I've admitted the sentries' third eye into my wet and foul dreams. Munched the bread of exile; it's stale and warty.
Granted my lungs all sounds except the howl;
switched to a whisper. Now I am forty.
What should I say about my life? That it's long and abhors transparence.
Broken eggs make me grieve; the omelette, though, makes me vomit.
Yet until brown clay has been rammed down my larynx,
only gratitude will be gushing from it.
 

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About the Author Joseph Brodsky (1940 - 1996) was born in 1940, in Leningrad, and began writing poetry when he was eighteen. Anna Akhmatova soon recognized in the young poet the most gifted lyric voice of his generation. From March 1964 until November 1965, Brodsky lived in exile... Read Joseph Brodsky's Full Biography  
 
 
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