Monday, February 19, 2007

Great Essay on Joseph Brodsky

This is a great thought-provoking essay on Brodsky's poem, "I was born and grew up in the Baltic marshland," by Katy Evans-Bush. In this essay she states, "Ten years after Brodsky’s death, poets are again debating the need for a specifically political poetry to reflect modern experience. This poem reminds us that common truths can only be approached through personal ones."

I was born and grew up in the Baltic marshland

I was born and grew up in the Baltic marshland
by zinc-gray breakers that always marched on
in twos. Hence all rhymes, hence that wan flat voice
that ripples between them like hair still moist,
if it ripples at all. Propped on a pallid elbow,
the helix picks out of them no sea rumble
but a clap of canvas, of shutters, of hands, a kettle
on the burner, boiling—lastly, the seagull's metal
cry. What keeps hearts from falseness in this flat region
is that there is nowhere to hide and plenty of room for vision.
Only sound needs echo and dreads its lack.
A glance is accustomed to no glance back.

© Joseph Brodsky

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