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A Part of Speech

4.51  ·  Rating details ·  438 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
A Part of Speech contains poems from the years 1965-1978, translated by various hands.
Paperback, 152 pages
Published 1978 by Farrar Straus Giroux
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Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mother-rus, poetshere
A loyal subject of these second-rate years,
I proudly admit that my finest ideas
are second-rate, and may the future take them
as trophies of my struggle against suffocation.
I sit in the dark. And it would be hard to figure out
which is worse: the dark inside, or the darkness out.

I sent the above to host of people the other day, a warmish winter day, wet and windy when I felt so present and engaged if only to the fleeting.

Brodsky spoke to me.

He is the nexus of numerous cross currents, a pulsing
Mar 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry-poetics
A huge part of what made this book good was the translators: Derek Walcott, Anthony Hecht, and Richard Wilbur each translated a couple of poems in here. Most of the best poems I found were translated by people I didn't know.

The humor in the first half of the poem is really well done. He has these "self-situating" poems, as Michael Hofmann calls them, in which he writes about a foreign city and sort of tries to put the situation into focus, often to funny and subtly satirical effect. It reminded
Oct 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
STUNNING. I started this in October and am still reading it in December, because I have to stop and re-read some poems repeatedly. At least one is challenging me to try to memorize it. Not sure I'm capable (I have a very poor memory).... but... worth a try.

AWESOME. Yes, you might say, of course, he won the Nobel Prize for Lit., why wouldn't it be awesome? But really, this is amazing, real, insightful, funny, poignant, incredibly well-crafted in every sense (sound, meter, humor, imagery, magic, m
Nov 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
One of my very favorite poets, and this is his best work. The actual poem "Part of Speech" is absolutely gripping, and no matter the mood, I find myself going to it every so often. I long to learn Russian, just to read it in the original language. Side note: he taught at Mount Holyoke College, and I ended up going to a college nearby that allowed me to take course at MH. Sadly, he died the year before I got to college...but I did hear - from an ex-Poetry professor who studied under him - that he ...more
I adore Brodsky, but I really do prefer his "pre-immigration" poems - they just seem a bit simpler, raw, maybe more emotional. Of course this is a matter of personal taste, but if you are only familiar with Brodsky's earlier works, just be aware that his writing style changed quite a bit in the early 70s. I absolutely loved a couple of the poems in here, some were pretty good, but most I felt fairly indifferent towards.

Jun 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
Life is too short for bad poetry.
James Hughes
Oct 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Awesome poetry a master at work ! must be in the top all time poetry reads , my fav is nature morte what a poem ...
Aug 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
a one-of-a-kind Genius
idle sign
Jan 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Замечательная работа с русским языком.
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Iosif Aleksandrovich Brodsky (Russian: Иосиф Александрович Бродский, IPA: [ɪˈosʲɪf ˈbrotskʲɪj] was a Russian poet and essayist.

Born in Leningrad in 1940, Brodsky ran afoul of Soviet authorities and was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1972, settling in America with the help of W. H. Auden and other supporters. He taught thereafter at universities including those at Yale, Cambridge and Michigan.

More about Joseph Brodsky...