Collected Poems in English

Joseph Brodsky

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

0374528381

9780374528386

Trade Paperback

560 Pages

$21.00

CAD24.00

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Collected here for the first time in one volume are the English-language poems of the legendary Joseph Brodsky (1940-96). One of the greatest and grandest advocates of the literary vocation, Brodsky truly lived his life as a poet, and for it earned eighteen months in an Arctic labor camp, expulsion from his native country, an appointment (in 1991) to the U.S. Poet Laureate post, and the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Here, collected for the first time, are all the poems he published in English, from his earliest collaborations with Derek Walcott, Richard Wilbur, Howard Moss, and Anthony Hecht to the moving farewell poems he wrote near the end of his life. With nearly two hundred poems, several of them never before published in book form, this is the essential volume of Brodsky's work.

As Susan Sontag once noted: "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."

REVIEWS

Praise for Collected Poems in English

"Gathers up all of Brodsky's finest poems in one heftily elegant volume . . . 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

"The reader will find here some of the great moments of twentieth-century verse."—The New Yorker

"This is an important book, because it provides a comprehensive opportunity to evaluate Brodsky as an American poet . . . Brodsky's own translations are always interesting and revealing."—Adam Kirsch, The New Republic

"Brodsky, born in Leningrad in 1940, was in the spotlight from his earliest writing days, when Anna Akhmatova recognized the power of his lyricism and intellect, on to his incarceration in an Arctic labor camp, the ensuing international protest, and his high-profile involuntary exile to the U.S., where he taught, won the Nobel Prize in 1987, and served two terms as poet laureate. The tension between his native Russian, in which many of the nearly 200 poems gathered here were written, and his acquired English, in which he both wrote poetry and translated much of his own work, infuses his passionate poetry with a bittersweet dissonance, a tug of war between emotion and reason, home and away, the personal and the historic. Brodsky's more sensuous and elegiac poems are confided with warmth and intimacy, while his more mathematically ordered works feel as though they are delivered from on high. Dramatic and ironic, melancholy and blissful, Brodsky's collected poems will stand as one of the twentieth century's tours de force."—Donna Seaman, Booklist

Reviews from Goodreads

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BOOK EXCERPTS

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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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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Joseph Brodsky

  • 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.
  • Joseph Brodsky Copyright Nancy Crampton
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