lyrikline blog

Readings to remember: Joseph Brodsky

Posted in Joseph Brodsky by lyrikline on 19. March 2014

Russian poet and essayist Joseph Brodsky (May 24, 1940 – January 28, 1996) was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1972, after 10 years of denunciation, imprisonment, hospitalization into a mental institution and years of not being allowed to publish nor to travel.
After he was put on a plane to Vienna in June 1972, he settled in America and never returned to Russia. In 1987, the American citizen Brodsky was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, receiving the Prize for Russian-language poetry.

Due to the fact that Brodsky wrote in Russian and English throughout his career, and was also self-translating his work occasionally, we thought it would be a good idea to come up with two clips today:

In this one, Joseph Brodsky reads his Russian poem Письма римскому другу [Letters To The Roman Friend]

Find an English translation here.

In the second clip we see Brodsky reading his poem A Song.