Brodsky, who died aged 55 in 1996, it can hardly be denied is a major Russian American poet. He took exile in the US from Russia in 1972, also translating some of his own works into English. He won the Nobel in 1987, and was US poet laureate in 1991. It is worth noting also that he has been praised for his essays includingLess Than One(1986).
Preceded by such high praise it can be difficult to an extent to form one’s own view of the poetry. This new Penguin Classics selection arranges the chosen poems near enough chronologically, but does not foreground the original collections in which they appeared, except maybe forA Part of Speech, from which the title poem is featured.
I would tend to the view that Brodsky’s writing is both fierce and unassuming. Two key figures to whom he relates are Akhmatova, of…
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