It is the last poem in Joseph Brodsky’s last, in 1996, posthumously published volume of “landscape with a high water”. The 1940 in Leningrad, born in 1964, in a process due to “Parasitentums” to five years of forced labour in the Russian North, has condemned, in 1972, under threats from the Soviet Union designated Poet lived in exile in New York. He was awarded the 1987 Nobel prize for literature, was the late Triumph of a poet, at 28. January 1996, with fifty-five years of his heart disease succumbed. Of his danger, he always knew, so he adopted early in life, but to leave it full of vitality and the will, his poetic footsteps.
The first Verse sums up all of the attacks, which were in Brodsky’s case is solid, even beyond his death – from the “parasites” in its decision process from 1964 to Alexander Solzhenitsyn läppischem verdict of 1999, the Brodsky as a cold, cynical, baseless “westernized” and God sought to exclude from the “Patriotic” poetry. Serenity is not speaking from the certainty to be at least for the bad weather responsible. Then the surprising twist: the threat against itself. Because the best judge is still the Poet himself.
The traditional image of the soul, to transform itself after the death of the people in a star, Brodsky ironically. Strange that he chooses for his demise is a military metaphor. The shoulder pieces to be able to surrender means to make a living or to be demoted. Brodsky has never worn in his life in Uniform, he was not in any army of this world, now he is to be the “Lieutenant of the sky” promoted? It is certain that he was an eloquent fighter for the cause of the seal. His Essays are vigorous arguments for the value and Dignity of poetry: it is the “highest Form of language” and even “the definition of our genus” (in his Nobel prize speech of 1987). On another occasion, he referred to them as “our anthropological, genetic goal,” our “language-evolutionary lodestar”.
The particle accelerator of poetry
The second verse, however, the poetry shows on the retreat in front of the “Mass consumption products”. The force of the poet’s retreat from the onslaught of an all-unifying world of Consumption, which, however, here again, the voice of Serenity – no weight: took a spring. With all the scepticism and the illusion of weightlessness Brodsky was full of Faith in the authority of the language and the criminal or uplifting Power of poetry. In his Nobel prize speech, he referred to them as “colossal accelerator of consciousness, of thought, of perception of the world”.
In this poem he seems to even “speed of light”, the tremendous rapidity of the associations. Who is associated with poetry, tranquil Cozy, with Brodsky’s already on the wrong track. The modern particle accelerator, the poetry was, in his amazement, I Spoke with astronomical sizes as well deal with the Smallest and most Insignificant.
The third verse is Childhood and old age. Unique age perspective, the illusion-free Verse is “When there is nothing more of what was”. It is an exile that will not die in the place that gave birth to him speak. The world he knew is no more. And once again the military metaphor: revolution or flash. In which the death occurs, whether after a long illness (circling) or a further heart attack (Blitzkrieg), is the soon to be Dying, ultimately, indifferent.