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.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



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 »

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Waves of customers inside those stores, MOHAMMAD SKATI
  2. Leading Me Home, Heather Burns
  3. She's mad at me today, Louis Borgo
  4. An Event, Heather Burns
  5. Hiding In The Open In Her Room, Is It Poetry
  6. All Hallows Eve, David Lewis Paget
  7. The Devil Twists God's Words & Desires., Tom Zart
  8. Naturality, michael walkerjohn
  9. time, lee fones
  10. I Saw You Today, Raven McCall

Poem of the Day

poet John Clare

I love to see the old heath's withered brake
Mingle its crimpled leaves with furze and ling,
While the old heron from the lonely lake
Starts slow and flaps its melancholy wing,
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Grace Paley

 

Trending Poems

  1. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  2. And Death Shall Have No Dominion, Dylan Thomas
  3. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  4. Fern Hill, Dylan Thomas
  5. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  6. No Man Is An Island, John Donne
  7. A Poison Tree, William Blake
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep, Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. Alone, Maya Angelou
  10. If I Knew Someone Cared, Nicole Rawls

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]