Sample Poems

JOSEPH BRODSKY

Winter Wedding

From New Stanzas to Augusta

We said our vows in the new year.
Guests thronged into the courtyard here.
And from the hilltop church the bell
kept ringing in the ear.

From in the chapel where we stood
you see the two ends of one road.
Into the distance goes my gaze,
a messenger gone for good.

The church bell rings unendingly.
My husband stands and looks at me.
So many candles shine for us!
And I count all I see.

Translation by Tatyana Amelina and Harry Thomas

 

[JOSEPH BRODSKY, born in Leningrad (St. Petersburg), emigrated to the United States in 1973 after a long period of persecution by the Soviet government. In 1987, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature, and, from 1991-92, he served as the Poet Laureate of the United States. His many works include Selected Poems (Harper & Row, 1973) and Less than One: Selected Essays (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1986).]

[HARRY THOMAS translated Joseph Brodsky's major poem, Gorbunov and Gorchakov (Penguin, 1986). He has also edited the Selected Poems of Thomas Hardy (Penguin, 1993) and Montale in English, which is forthcoming from Penguin.]

[TATYANA AMELINA, a Ph.D. from the University of St. Petersburg, teaches Russian at Buckingham Browne and Nichols School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her translations into Russian include plays by Somerset Maugham, Harold Pinter, and Edward Albee, as well as stories and novellas by P. G. Wodehouse, Henry James, and Brian Aldis.]

 

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