- Paperback: 560 pages
- Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; First edition (April 1, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0374528381
- ISBN-13: 978-0374528386
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #485,390 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Collected Poems in English Paperback – April 1, 2002
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“I know Joseph Brodsky as a world poet--partly because I cannot read him in Russian; mainly because that's the range he commanded in his poems, with their extraordinary velocity and density of material notation, of cultural reference, of attitude. He insisted that poetry's 'job' (a much-used word) was to explore the capacity of language to travel farther, faster. Poetry, he said, is accelerated thinking. It was his best argument, and he made many, on behalf of the superiority of poetry to prose.” ―Susan Sontag
“Brodsky charged at the world with full intensity and wrestled his perceptions into lines that fairly vibrate with what they are asked to hold. There is no voice, no vision, remotely like it.” ―Sven Birkerts, The New York Times Book Review
About the Author
Joseph Brodsky (1940-96) came to the United States in 1972, an involuntary exile from the Soviet Union. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1987 and served as Poet Laureate of the United States in 1991 and 1992.
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Brodsky speaks of history's fortune and fate as he attempts a clarification of the poet's role in a world gone amuck. There are some gems here: "On Love," "I Sit By the Window," "Odysseus to Telemachus," "The Butterfly," "Torso," "Elegy: For Robert Lowell," and "Cafe Trieste: SF," to name a few.
Brodsky's poetic voice is imaginative and celestial. His words are as light and time-transcendent as the cloud-walk of heavenly angels.
I also recommend: Z. Herbert, C. Milosz, R. Hass, W. Szymborska, A. Zagajewski, and R. Jeffers.
An exquisite translation with very little loss from the original Russian.
with whom I am amazingly only just discovering. Despite an extensive collection of poetry,
novels and non-fiction, I always am excited to discover a great writer that some how managed
to slip under my radar. A formidable writer and fine edition of his work. Bought directly through
Amazon and as always the service is fast and reliable.
His poems are really growing on me. I would have said a month ago that my favorite is "The Butterfly"; but I find myself coming back again and again to "Lullaby of Cape Cod" and "Nunc Dimittis". "The New Jules Verne" is one of the funniest poems I've ever read. "Fin de Siecle"--about growing old (or, more accurately, growing unhealthy)--has just about the most meaningful ending, for me, of anything I've ever read.
I read "Lullaby of Cape Cod" twice today. I can't get its images out of my head: the loss of his home in Russia, what a hot Massachusetts summer night is like, all that can be learned from time and night, the fantasy of Atlantic codfish coming to the door--this is a poem about Cape COD, after all! The man does have a sense of humor-- with which he finally manages to lull himself to sleep.
This is the best book of his poetry. The translations are fairly consistent in tone, especially since he usually either translated them himself or advised those who did. If you buy it, be patient with it. Brodsky rewards patience.