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Creator / Joseph Brodsky

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Joseph Brodsky (Russian: Ио́сиф Алекса́ндрович Бро́дский (24 May 1940 – 28 January 1996) was an outstanding Russian poet who became famous for his many philosophical verses.

Brodsky was born in Saint-Petersburg, started to write poems as a teenager and as a youth he joined a group of several slightly older poets who grouped around the common mentor, an acclaimed poet Anna Akhmatova. Brodsky in his youth tried many trades, among other things he worked at a plant. Still his lyrical creations did not find much favour with the communist regime so he was formally accused of a failure to be employed (parasitism, under communists it was an article in the penal code) and sent in exile to a remote Nothern village.


On return to Saint-Petersburg his acclaim kept growing, so did the wariness (and weariness) of the Communist regime with his oeuvre, which was actually by no means antisovetic he just existed outside the official ideological paradigm. Finally he was told to choose between The Gulag and emigration, he opted for the latter and departed for USA.

As an emigre Brodsky taught literature to American students in various universities and became a public person. He was reputed to deviate in his views from the Westen liberal dogma, much like Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (though he was less of a Conservative). Brodsky was awarded Nobel Prize in Literature in 1987. He did not return to Russia after the collapse of the socialism.


Tropes in the poems by Brodsky

  • End of an Age: Subverted in The End of a Beautiful Epoch. Despite its name, the poem described only how the contemporary life in the Soviet Russia sucked. Verses do not contain any mention of any better time in the past.
  • From New York to Nowhere: In Letters To The Roman Friend this sort of transfer is appraised.
    An empire, if you happened to be born to,
    better live in distant province, by the ocean.
  • Hikkikomori: The poem ''Don't leave the room predictably recommends the reader to become the one.
    Don't leave the room, don't make the mistake
  • Crapsack World: The life under Soviet communist regime as described in many verses by Brodsky.
  • Self-Deprecation: in The End of a Beautiful Epoch
    I, morose,
    deaf, and balding ambassador of a more or less
    insignificant nation.