Letter to an Archaeologist
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 crossed, barbed, tangled, or interwoven.
Also: we didn't love our women, but they conceived.
Sharp is the sound of pickax that hurts dead iron;
still, it's gentler than what we've been told or have said ourselves.
Stranger! move carefully through our carrion:
what seems carrion to you is freedom to our cells.
Leave our names alone. Don't reconstruct those vowels,
consonants, and so forth: they won't resemble larks
but a demented bloodhound whose maw devours
its own traces, feces, and barks, and barks.
Joseph Brodsky's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Letter to an Archaeologist by Joseph Brodsky )
Did you read them?
- A Father's Miscarriage, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- Howling From Tomorrow, Steven Rhoads
- Manhood, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- Hero Needed, Barbara Dixion
- The Good Spirit, Sandra Feldman
- Don't Let It Be, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- LOVE IS A DELICATE THING, Marcus McKinley
- Beaming Bolts, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- It's only human, Priscilla Stalker
- October...come she will., Roxanne Dubarry
Poem of the Day
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
- Heather Burns