Joseph Brodsky


Picture of Joseph Brodsky

Iosif Aleksandrovich Brodsky (; Russian: Иосиф Александрович Бродский [ɪˈosʲɪf ɐlʲɪˈksandrəvʲɪtɕ ˈbrotskʲɪj] ; 24 May 1940 – 28 January 1996) was a Russian and American poet and essayist. Born in Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg), Soviet Union, in 1940, Brodsky ran afoul of Soviet authorities and was expelled ("strongly advised" to emigrate) from the Soviet Union in 1972, settling in the United States with the help of W. H. Auden and other supporters. He taught thereafter at Mount Holyoke College, and at universities including Yale, Columbia, Cambridge, and Michigan. Brodsky was awarded the 1987 Nobel Prize in Literature "for an all-embracing authorship, imbued with clarity of thought and poetic intensity". He was appointed United States Poet Laureate in 1991.According to Professor Andrey Ranchin of Moscow State University, "Brodsky is the only modern Russian poet whose body of work has already been awarded the honorary title of a canonized classic... Brodsky's literary canonization is an exceptional phenomenon. No other contemporary Russian writer has been honored as the hero of such a number of memoir texts; no other has had so many conferences devoted to them." Daniel Murphy, in his seminal text Christianity and Modern European Literature, includes Brodsky among the most influential Christian poets of the 20th century, along with T. S. Eliot, Osip Mandelstam, Anna Akhmatova (Brodsky's mentor for a time), and W. H. Auden (who sponsored Brodsky's cause in the United States). Irene Steckler was the first to categorically state that Brodsky was "unquestionably a Christian poet". Before that, in July 1972, following his exile, Brodsky himself, in an interview, said: "While I am related to the Old Testament perhaps by ancestry, and certainly the spirit of justice, I consider myself a Christian. Not a good one but I try to be." The contemporary Russian poet and fellow-Acmeist, Viktor Krivulin, said that "Brodsky always felt his Jewishness as a religious thing, despite the fact that, when all is said and done, he's a Christian poet."

from Wikipedia

Quotes from Joseph Brodsky

Man is what he reads.

Joseph Brodsky