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
To Urania To I.K.
Everything has its limit including sorrow.
A windowpane stalls a stare. Nor does a grill abandon
a leaf. One may rattle the keys gurgle down a swallow.
Loneless cubes a man at random.
A camel sniffs at the rail with a resentful nostril;
a perspective cuts emptiness deep and even.
And what is space anyway if not the
body's absence at every given
point? That's why Urania's older sister Clio!
in daylight or with the soot-rich lantern
you see the globe's pate free of any bio
you see she hides nothing unlike the latter.
There they are blueberry-laden forests
rivers where the folk with bare hands catch sturgeon
or the towns in whose soggy phone books
you are starring no longer; father eastward surge on
brown mountain ranges; wild mares carousing
in tall sedge; the cheeckbones get blueer
as they turn numerous. And still farther
east steam dreadnoughts
and the expanse grows blue like lace underwear.