thinking today on what has come before. and also that i needed a poem, today. a familiar poem. hashtag amrevising, hashtag amwriting. this slow sunday with the shape of milan finally emerging, and some glimmering sense of sea-change, just past my line of sight.
May 24, 1980
by Joseph Brodsky
I have braved, for want of wild beasts, steel cages,
carved my term and nickname on bunks and rafters,
lived by the sea, flashed aces in an oasis,
dined with the-devil-knows-whom, in tails, on truffles.
From the height of a glacier I beheld half a world, the
width. Twice have drowned, thrice let knives rake my
Quit the country that bore and nursed me.
Those who forgot me would make a city.
I have waded the steppes that saw yelling Huns in saddles,
worn the clothes nowadays back in fashion in every quarter,
planted rye, tarred the roofs of pigsties and stables,
guzzled everything save dry water.
I’ve admitted the sentries’ third eye into my wet and foul
dreams. Munched the bread of exile; it’s stale and warty.
Granted my lungs all sounds except the howl;
switched to a whisper. Now I am forty.
What should I say about my life? That it’s long and abhors
Broken eggs make me grieve; the omelet, though, makes me
Yet until brown clay has been rammed down my larynx,
only gratitude will be gushing from it.