Joseph Brodsky

(24 May 1940 – 28 January 1996 / Leningrad)

I Sit By The Window - Poem by Joseph Brodsky

I said fate plays a game without a score,
and who needs fish if you've got caviar?
The triumph of the Gothic style would come to pass
and turn you on--no need for coke, or grass.
I sit by the window. Outside, an aspen.
When I loved, I loved deeply. It wasn't often.

I said the forest's only part of a tree.
Who needs the whole girl if you've got her knee?
Sick of the dust raised by the modern era,
the Russian eye would rest on an Estonian spire.
I sit by the window. The dishes are done.
I was happy here. But I won't be again.

I wrote: The bulb looks at the flower in fear,
and love, as an act, lacks a verb; the zer-
o Euclid thought the vanishing point became
wasn't math--it was the nothingness of Time.
I sit by the window. And while I sit
my youth comes back. Sometimes I'd smile. Or spit.

I said that the leaf may destory the bud;
what's fertile falls in fallow soil--a dud;
that on the flat field, the unshadowed plain
nature spills the seeds of trees in vain.
I sit by the window. Hands lock my knees.
My heavy shadow's my squat company.

My song was out of tune, my voice was cracked,
but at least no chorus can ever sing it back.
That talk like this reaps no reward bewilders
no one--no one's legs rest on my sholders.
I sit by the window in the dark. Like an express,
the waves behind the wavelike curtain crash.

A loyal subject of these second-rate years,
I proudly admit that my finest ideas
are second-rate, and may the future take them
as trophies of my struggle against suffocation.
I sit in the dark. And it would be hard to figure out
which is worse; the dark inside, or the darkness out.


Anonymous Submission


Comments about I Sit By The Window by Joseph Brodsky

  • (4/23/2018 4:07:00 AM)

    Very happy to be able to read this poem by Brodsky in English. (Report)Reply

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  • (8/12/2017 11:35:00 AM)

    It shoud be 'The bulb looks at the FLOOR in fear', not flower (Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
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  • (3/26/2015 9:37:00 AM)

    The last two lines are my favorite. The rhyme scheme seemingly odd but yet enjoyable...this poem seems like it would be a hard style to replicate and a hard style to write in. A classical twist on portraying a character through their actions and evaluations of random particles of life. (Report)Reply

    (8/12/2017 11:40:00 AM)

    Actually, these two lines don't agree with the original. In the original it's 'I am sitting in the darkness and the darkness inside the room is not worse than outside'.

    4 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
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Read poems about / on: dark, fish, sick, future, flower, girl, sometimes, fate, nature, tree, happy, song, smile, fear, fishing



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003



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