Learn More

Joseph Brodsky

(24 May 1940 – 28 January 1996 / Leningrad)

May 24, 1980


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 omelet, though, makes me vomit.
Yet until brown clay has been rammed down my larynx,
only gratitude will be gushing from it.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
1 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: howl, city, water, sea, world, dream

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (May 24, 1980 by Joseph Brodsky )

Enter the verification code :

Read all 1 comments »

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. A Child's Christmas in Wales, Dylan Thomas
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  4. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  5. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  6. Christmas Carol, Sara Teasdale
  7. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  8. A Question, Robert Frost
  9. If, Rudyard Kipling
  10. Ring Out , Wild Bells, Alfred Lord Tennyson

Poem of the Day

poet Christina Georgina Rossetti

Go from me, summer friends, and tarry not:
I am no summer friend, but wintry cold,
A silly sheep benighted from the fold,
A sluggard with a thorn-choked garden plot.
...... Read complete »

   

New Poems

  1. The Day Is Gone, And All Its Sweets Are .., Luo Zhihai
  2. Picturing, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  3. Flag of peace, gajanan mishra
  4. Changing Positions, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  5. Elevated Insight, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  6. Teach them to love, Lubinda Lubinda
  7. Beyond The Ordinary, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  8. the comical dilemma with commas, Bull Hawking
  9. Hitler: A Life Immersed in Hypocrisy, Paul Hartal
  10. Creative Interests, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
[Hata Bildir]