Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ON BRODSKY'S COLLECTED, by MICHAEL S. HARPER



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ON BRODSKY'S COLLECTED, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Signature in a paperback / arresting your copious
Subject(s): Brodsky, Joseph (1940-1996)


"With all tenderness and affection" —from J. Brodsky to M.
Harper; inscribed in Less than One: Selected Essays, October 12, 1988

Signature in a paperback
arresting your copious

annotations on "September 1, 1939"
(exegetical in the extreme)

extreme unction of the heart
such lucid heartwork without translation

bright bed and breakfast
in macabre Providence very unPoelike

for I have read your EnglishAmerican
(as you read your RussianSoviet)

to a vast audience of scientists
in the graduated labs of Barus & Holly

a valiant pant across participles
the psychic hum of all lingua you intuited
"for language is the only homeland"
metaphysician of this psychograph an interrogation

sutures of blood and song
your generous taxonomies in cavernous secret vena cava


First Published in The Kenyon Review, Volume 23 #2 (Spring 2001).
www.kenyonreview.org/roth






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