Iosif Aleksandrovich Brodsky was a Soviet-Russian-American poet and essayist. He was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1972 for alleged "social parasitism" and settled in America with the help of W. H. Auden and other supporters. He taught thereafter at universities including those at Yale, Cambridge and Michigan. Brodsky was awarded the 1987 Nobel Prize in Literature "for an all-embracing authorship, imbued with clarity of thought and poetic intensity". He was appointed American Poet Laureate in 1991.. Russian poet and essayist
About a year has passed. I've returned to the place of the battle
to its birds that have learned their unfolding of wings
from a subtle
lift of a surprised eyebrow or perhaps from a razor blade
- wings now the shade of early twilight now of state
Now the place is abuzz with trading
in your ankles's remanants bronzes
of sunburnt breastplates dying laughter bruises
rumors of fresh reserves memories of high treason
laundered banners with imprints of the many
who since have risen.
All's overgrown with people. A ruin's a rather stubborn
architectural style. And the hearts's distinction
from a pitch-black cavern
isn't that great; not great enough to fear
that we may collide again like blind eggs somewhere.
At sunrise when nobody stares at one's face I often
set out on foot to a monument cast in molten
lengthy bad dreams. And it says on the plinth "commander
in chief." But it reads "in grief " or "in brief "
or "in going under."
1985 translated by the author.