Joseph Brodsky

Literary Birthday – 24 May – Joseph Brodsky

Joseph Brodsky was born 24 May 1940, and died 28 January 1996.

Joseph Brodsky Quotes

  1. For darkness restores what light cannot repair.
  2. For a writer, only one form of patriotism exists: his attitude toward language.
  3. If there is anything good about exile, it is that it teaches one humility.
  4. There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.
  5. Life—the way it really is—is a battle not between good and bad, but between bad and worse.
  6. What concerns me is that man, unable to articulate, to express himself adequately, reverts to action. Since the vocabulary of action is limited, as it were, to his body, he is bound to act violently, extending his vocabulary with a weapon where there should have been an adjective.
  7. It is well to read everything of something, and something of everything.
  8. Man is what he reads.
  9. For boredom speaks the language of time, and it is to teach you the most valuable lesson of your life – the lesson of your utter insignificance.
  10. Because every book of art, be it a poem or a cupola, is understandably a self-portrait of its author, we won’t strain ourselves too hard trying to distinguish between the author’s persona and the poem’s lyrical hero.
  11. In the business of writing, what one accumulates is not experience but uncertainties.
  12. The surest defence against Evil is extreme individualism, originality of thinking, whimsicality, even—if you will—eccentricity.

Joseph Brodsky was a Russian poet and essayist. Expelled from the Soviet Union in 1972, he settled in America with the help of W. H. Auden, and taught at Yale, Cambridge, and Michigan. Brodsky was awarded the 1987 Nobel Prize in Literature. He was appointed United States Poet Laureate in 1991. He is the author of Watermark.

Source for Image

Anefo / Croes, R.C., CC BY-SA 3.0 NL <>, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

Please click here for our Literary Birthday Calendar

Posted on: 24th May 2014