Joseph Brodsky

(24 May 1940 – 28 January 1996 / Leningrad)

A Song

Poem by Joseph Brodsky

I wish you were here, dear,
I wish you were here.
I wish you sat on the sofa
and I sat near.
The handkerchief could be yours,
the tear could be mine, chin-bound.
Though it could be, of course,
the other way around.

I wish you were here, dear,
I wish you were here.
I wish we were in my car
and you'd shift the gear.
We'd find ourselves elsewhere,
on an unknown shore.
Or else we'd repair
to where we've been before.

I wish you were here, dear,
I wish you were here.
I wish I knew no astronomy
when stars appear,
when the moon skims the water
that sighs and shifts in its slumber.
I wish it were still a quarter
to dial your number.

I wish you were here, dear,
in this hemisphere,
as I sit on the porch
sipping a beer.
It's evening, the sun is setting;
boys shout and gulls are crying.
What's the point of forgetting
if it's followed by dying?


Comments about A Song by Joseph Brodsky

  • Sandra Dreis (4/20/2020 4:18:00 PM)

    The last line is profound and hit me like a low tree branch. I have been mourning the death of my dear mother to Alzheimers. How she suffered because she couldn't remember so many event, people in her long life. And her forgetting hurt me too. Now I see memory in a different light altogether. Why torture ourselves? Death puts it all in perspective. We all can life in the present until we are no longer present, right?(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • Sylvia Frances ChanSylvia Frances Chan (11/12/2019 3:21:00 PM)

    I wish you were here, dear,
    I wish you were here.
    I wish you sat on the sofa
    and I sat near.
    The handkerchief could be yours,
    the tear could be mine, chin-bound..............so sweetest and so saddest. This poem touched my heart and soul(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Chinedu DikeChinedu Dike (9/20/2019 7:04:00 PM)

    Lovely and very passionate poem. Very heartfelt with strong emotions................(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Ruta MohapatraRuta Mohapatra (9/22/2018 4:50:00 AM)

    ' It's evening, the sun is setting;
    boys shout and gulls are crying.
    What's the point of forgetting
    if it's followed by dying? '.......Very expressive lines! Sad and touching!(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Thao12345 (1/23/2018 1:36:00 AM)

    can anyone give me the name of this translator?(Report)Reply

    Vladimirs Prudnikovs(7/25/2018 7:53:00 AM)

    I think that the poem was already written in English. Brodsky wrote poems in both Russian and English and was even elected US Poet Laureate

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Marty Mangold (1/2/2018 10:28:00 PM)

    Roger Angell writes nicely of Brodsky and of this poem in This Old Man.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Jayatissa K. LiyanageJayatissa K. Liyanage (12/27/2016 10:35:00 AM)

    With some instruments playing in harmony for the theme, a vocalist takes us to a romantic world. Thanks for sharing.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Daniel BrickDaniel Brick (12/27/2016 10:26:00 AM)

    Despite the jocular tone there is a current of sadness we sense almost immediately When the last lines makes the permanence of the poet's loss clear, I can admire his discipline in putting his grief in artistic form. I saw a show on PBS in the 1990's in which Seamus Heaney visited Brodsky in his small apartment. The Russian poet fixed tea as the Irish poet brought him up to date on his activities. As they sat at the table with their tea and conversation, it was a marvelous display of friendship and poetry. Although both have passed, their spirits persist.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Tom Allport (12/27/2016 4:18:00 AM)

    a poem of longing for what has gone, so very sad(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • M Asim NehalM Asim Nehal (12/27/2016 3:20:00 AM)

    A wonderful song, I wish this come true...(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Edward Kofi LouisEdward Kofi Louis (12/27/2016 1:03:00 AM)

    Unknown shore! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Bernard F. AsuncionBernard F. Asuncion (12/27/2016 12:25:00 AM)

    Thanks for sharing+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Liza SudinaLiza Sudina (11/24/2015 12:23:00 AM)

    Joseph! Sweet and touches to tears!
    I wish you were here, dear, I wish you were here.
    I wish you sat on the sofa
    and I sat near.
    the handkerchief could be yours,
    the tear could be mine, chin-bound.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Kevin PatrickKevin Patrick (12/10/2014 3:18:00 PM)

    An absent lover created this touching and heartfelt work. I especially loved stanza three, its distinctive in its tone. A good choice for today.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Edgar StevensEdgar Stevens (12/10/2014 10:00:00 AM)

    one nice poem i should read occasionally..(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Sossi KhachadourianSossi Khachadourian (12/10/2014 4:54:00 AM)

    What's the point of forgetting
    If it's followed by dying?(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Anil Kumar PandaAnil Kumar Panda (12/10/2013 5:52:00 AM)

    very nice.nice style and flow.(Report)Reply

    9 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Enoch JohnEnoch John (6/18/2008 2:54:00 PM)

    I'm sorry I didn't meet this great poet but anyway I like this song.Thankfully his work lives on.(Report)Reply

    13 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Chaotic Life - Curly M. (3/9/2008 1:35:00 PM)

    awww...thats really sweet(Report)Reply

    18 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
Read all 20 comments »

A Song Score Card

User Rating:
4,0 / 5 (49 votes)19

Robert Frost

Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening



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Read poems about / on: car, moon, water, sun, song, star



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 20, 2003

Poem Edited: Saturday, December 31, 2016