Poetry: Letter to an Archaeologist ~ Joseph Brodsky

April 29, 2012

Citizen, enemy, mama’s boy, sucker, utter
garbage, panhandler, swine, refujew, verrucht;
a scalp so often scalded with boiled water
that the puny brain feels completely cooked.
Yes, we have dwelt here: in this concrete, brick, wooden
rubble which you now arrive to sift.
All our wires were crossed, barbed, tangled, or interwoven.
Also: we didn’t love our women, but they conceived.
Sharp is the sound of the pickax that hurts dead iron;
still, it’s gentler than what we’ve been told or have said ourselves.
Stranger! move careffuly though our carrion:
what seems carrion to you is freedom to our cells.
Leave our names alone. Don’t reconstruct those vowels,
consonants, and so forth: they won’t resemble larks
but a demented bloodhound whose maw devours
its own traces, feces, and barks, and barks.

 

 

Excerpted from Joseph Brodsky: Collected Poems in English

One Response to “Poetry: Letter to an Archaeologist ~ Joseph Brodsky”

  1. Mauricio Suganuma said

    archaelogy is really an interesting subject, it enables us to learn about our past.*

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