Joseph Brodsky

(24 May 1940 – 28 January 1996 / Leningrad)

A Polar Explorer - Poem by 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 the highest possible latitude!
And, like the silk stocking of a burlesque half-nude
queen, it climbs up his thigh: gangrene.


Comments about A Polar Explorer by Joseph Brodsky

  • (12/12/2014 5:58:00 PM)


    This was a harrowing nightmare, reminds me of all those tales of polar explorers that met their untimely demises trying to reach the passage, which no doubt this was inspired by. Brodsky does an admirable job of going through the inner psyche of a man who is on the edge of death, and all the images and dreams he sees, then it all comes crashing down, with the scintillating detail of a pleasurable image of a burlesque queen turns into the repulsive image of gangrene. The mans fate is written, in horrifying detail. The imagery and mores ending are enough to leave an impact on this reader. This is a must read. (Report) Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
Read all 1 comments »



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?

Read poems about / on: sister



Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004



Famous Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  3. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  4. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. Caged Bird
    Maya Angelou
  8. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  9. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
[Report Error]