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Best Famous Joseph Brodsky Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Joseph Brodsky poems. This is a select list of the best famous Joseph Brodsky poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Joseph Brodsky poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Joseph Brodsky poems.

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Written by Joseph Brodsky | |


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 bad blood.
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.

Written by Joseph Brodsky | |

Folk Tune

It's not that the Muse feels like clamming up 
it's more like high time for the lad's last nap.
And the scarf-waving lass who wished him the best drives a steamroller across his chest.
And the words won't rise either like that rod or like logs to rejoin their old grove's sweet rot and like eggs in the frying pan the face spills its eyes all over the pillowcase.
Are you warm tonight under those six veils in that basin of yours whose strung bottom wails; where like fish that gasp at the foreign blue my raw lip was catching what then was you? I would have hare's ears sewn to my bald head in thick woods for your sake I'd gulp drops of lead and from black gnarled snags in the oil-smooth poad I'd bob up to your face as some Tirpitz won't.
But it's not on the cards or the waiter's tray and it pains to say where one's hair turns gray.
There are more blue veins than the blood to swell their dried web let alone some remote brain cell We are parting for good my friend that's that.
Draw an empty circle on your blue pad.
This will be me: no insides in thrall.
Stare at it a while then erase the scrawl.

Written by Joseph Brodsky | |

May 24 1980

I have braved for want of wild beasts steel cages 
carved my term and nickname on bunks and rafters 
lived by the sea flashed aces in an oasis 
dined with the-devil-knows-whom in tails on truffles.
From the height of a glacier I beheld half a world the earthly width.
Twice have drowned thrice let knives rake my nitty-gritty.
Quit the country the bore and nursed me.
Those who forgot me would make a city.
I have waded the steppes that saw yelling Huns in saddles worn the clothes nowadays back in fashion in every quarter planted rye tarred the roofs of pigsties and stables guzzled everything save dry water.
I've admitted the sentries' third eye into my wetand foul dreams.
Munched the bread of exile; it's stale and warty.
Granted my lungs all sounds except the howl; switched to a whisper.
Now I am forty.
What should I say about my life? That it's long and abhors transparence.
Broken eggs make me grieve; the omelette though makes me vomit.
Yet until brown clay has been rammed down my larynx only gratitude will be gushing from it.

More great poems below...

Written by Joseph Brodsky | |

A Polar Explorer

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.

Written by Joseph Brodsky | |

Dutch Mistress

A hotel in whose ledgers departures are more prominent than arrivals.
With wet Koh-i-noors the October rain strokes what's left of the naked brain.
In this country laid flat for the sake of rivers, beer smells of Germany and the seaguls are in the air like a page's soiled corners.
Morning enters the premises with a coroner's punctuality, puts its ear to the ribs of a cold radiator, detects sub-zero: the afterlife has to start somewhere.
Correspondingly, the angelic curls grow more blond, the skin gains its distant, lordly white, while the bedding already coils desperately in the basement laundry.

Written by Joseph Brodsky | |

Tsushima Screen

The perilous blue sun follows with its slant eyes
masts of the shuddered grove steaming up to capsize
in the frozen straits of Epiphany.
February has fewer days than the other months; therefore it's morecruel than the rest.
Dearest it's more sound to wrap up our sailing round the globe with habitual naval grace moving your cot to the fireplace where our dreadnought is going under in great smoke.
Only fire can grasp a winter! Golder unharnessed stallions in the chimney dye their manes to more corvine shades as they near the finish and the dark room fills with the plaintive incessant chirring of a naked lounging grasshopper one cannot cup in fingers.

Written by Joseph Brodsky | |

Letter to an Archaeologist

Citizen enemy mama's boy sucker utter
garbage panhandler swine refujew verrucht;
a scalp so often scalded with boiling water
that the puny brain feels completely cooked.
Yes we have dwelt here: in this concrete brick wooden rubble which you now arrive to sift.
All our wires were crossed barbed tangled or interwoven.
Also: we didn't love our women but they conceived.
Sharp is the sound of pickax that hurts dead iron still it's gentler that what we've been told or have said ourselves.
Stranger! move carefully through our carrion: what seems carrion to you is freedom to our cells Leave our names alone.
Don't reconstruct those vowels consonants and so forth: they won't resemble larks but a demented bloodhound whose maw devours its own traces feces and barks and barks.

Written by Joseph Brodsky | |

Stone Villages

The stone-built villages of England.
A cathedral bottled in a pub window.
Cows dispersed across fields.
Monuments to kings.
A man in a moth-eaten suit sees a train off heading like everything here for the sea smiles at his daughter leaving for the East.
A whistle blows.
And the endless sky over the tiles grows bluer as swelling birdsong fills.
And the clearer the song is heard the smaller the bird.

Written by Joseph Brodsky | |


Darling you think it's love it's just a midnightjourney.
Best are the dales and rivers removed by force as from the next compartment throttles "Oh stopit Bernie " yet the rhythm of those paroxysms is exactly yours.
Hook to the meat! Brush to the red-brick dentures alias cigars smokeless like a driven nail! Here the works are fewer than monkey wrenches and the phones are whining dwarfed by to-no-avail.
Bark then with joy at Clancy Fitzgibbon Miller.
Dogs and block letters care how misfortune spells.
Still you can tell yourself in the john by the spat-at mirror slamming the flush and emerging with clean lapels.
Only the liquid furniture cradles the dwindling figure.
Man shouldn't grow in size once he's been portrayed.
Look: what's been left behind is about as meager as what remains ahead.
Hence the horizon's blade.

Written by Joseph Brodsky | |

Seven Strophes

I was but what you'd brush
with your palm what your leaning
brow would hunch to in evening's
raven-black hush.
I was but what your gaze in that dark could distinguish: a dim shape to begin with later - features a face.
It was you on my right on my left with your heated sighs who molded my helix whispering at my side.
It was you by that black window's trembling tulle pattern who laid in my raw cavern a voice calling you back.
I was practically blind.
You appearing then hiding gave me my sight and heightened it.
Thus some leave behind a trace.
Thus they make worlds.
Thus having done so at random wastefully they abandon their work to its whirls.
Thus prey to speeds of light heat cold or darkness a sphere in space without markers spins and spins.

Written by Joseph Brodsky | |

Belfast Tune

Here's a girl from a dangerous town
She crops her dark hair short
so that less of her has to frown
when someine gets hurt.
She folds her memories like a parachute.
Dropped she collects the peat and cooks her veggies at home: they shoot here where they eat.
Ah there's more sky in these parts than say ground.
Hence her voice's pitch and her stare stains your retina like a gray bulb when you switch hemispheres and her knee-length quilt skirt's cut to catch the squal I dream of her either loved or killed because the town's too small.

Written by Joseph Brodsky | |

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 or cruisers and the expanse grows blue like lace underwear.

Written by Joseph Brodsky | |

A list of some observation

A list of some observation.
In a corner it's warm.
A glance leaves an imprint on anything it's dwelt on.
Water is glass's most public form.
Man is more frightening than its skeleton.
A nowhere winter evening with wine.
A black porch resists an osier's stiff assaults.
Fixed on an elbow the body bulks like a glacier's debris a moraine of sorts.
A millennium hence they'll no doubt expose a fossil bivalve propped behind this gauze cloth with the print of lips under the print of fringe mumbling "Good night" to a window hinge.

Written by Joseph Brodsky | |

Part Of Speech

and when "the future" is uttered, swarms of mice rush out of the Russian language and gnaw a piece of ripened memory which is twice as hole-ridden as real cheese.
After all these years it hardly matters who or what stands in the corner, hidden by heavy drapes, and your mind resounds not with a seraphic "doh", only their rustle.
Life, that no one dares to appraise, like that gift horse's mouth, bares its teeth in a grin at each encounter.
What gets left of a man amounts to a part.
To his spoken part.
To a part of speech.

Written by Joseph Brodsky | |

I Sit By The Window

 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.