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Joseph Brodsky

From Academic Kids

Joseph Brodsky (May 24, 1940January 28, 1996), born Iosif Aleksandrovich Brodsky (Russian:Ио́сиф Алекса́ндрович Бро́дский) was a Russian-American poet, winner of the 1987 Nobel Prize in Literature, and Poet Laureate of the United States for 1991-1992.

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Joseph Brodsky
Contents

Life

Brodsky was born in Leningrad, now St. Petersburg to a family of a Jewish photographer. In the early childhood he survived the Siege of Leningrad. When he was fifteen, after the eighth grade, Brodsky left school. He worked at a wide variety of jobs, including a hospital, a morgue, a factory, a ship boiler room, and a geological expedition.

Brodsky taught himself English and Polish, acquired deep interest in classical philosophy, religion, mythology, English and American poetry and began writing poetry in 1957. He had no degree in the liberal arts. Later in life he admitted that he picked up books from anywhere he could find them, including even garbage dumps. The young Brodsky was encouraged and influenced by the poet Anna Akhmatova who called some of his verses "enchanting".

In 1963 he was charged with parasitism ("тунеядство") by the Soviet authorities. A famous excerpt from the transcript of his trial (smuggled to the West):

Judge: "Who has decided that you're a poet? Who has ranked you as a poet? Have you studied poetry at an institution? Have you prepared for a university course where you're taught to write poetry?"
Brodsky: "I don't think poetry comes from an education."
Judge: "Well then, where does it come from?"
Brodsky: "I think that it comes from God."

For his parasitism Brodsky was sentenced to five years of hard labor in internal exile and served 18 months in Archangelsk region. The sentence was commuted in 1965 after prominent Soviet literary figures protested.

As the 1960s Khrushchev Thaw period ended, only four of his poems were published in the Soviet Union. Most of his work has appeared only in the West. On June 4 1972 Brodsky was exiled and became a U.S. citizen in 1977.

He achieved major successes in his career as an English language poet.

Brodsky died of a heart attack in New York City and was buried at Isola di San Michele cemetery in Venice, Italy.

Works

Poetry (English)

  • A Part of Speech (1977)
  • To Urania (1984)
  • So Forth (1996)
  • Collected Poems in English (2000)
  • Nativity Poems (2001)

Essays (English)

  • Less Than One (1986)
  • Watermark (1992)
  • On Grief and Reason (1996)

Plays (English)


see also

External link

de:Joseph Brodsky es:Joseph Brodsky fr:Joseph Brodsky gd:Joseph Brodsky is:Joseph Brodsky it:Josif Brodskij nl:Joseph Brodsky no:Joseph Brodsky pl:Josif Brodski ru:Бродский, Иосиф Александрович sv:Joseph Brodsky

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