Joseph Brodsky

(24 May 1940 – 28 January 1996 / Leningrad)

A Polar Explorer


All the huskies are eaten. There is no space
left in the diary, And the beads of quick
words scatter over his spouse's sepia-shaded face
adding the date in question like a mole to her lovely cheek.
Next, the snapshot of his sister. He doesn't spare his kin:
what's been reached is the highest possible latitude!
And, like the silk stocking of a burlesque half-nude
queen, it climbs up his thigh: gangrene.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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Comments about this poem (A Polar Explorer by Joseph Brodsky )

  • Freshman - 1,849 Points Kevin Patrick (12/12/2014 5:58:00 PM)

    This was a harrowing nightmare, reminds me of all those tales of polar explorers that met their untimely demises trying to reach the passage, which no doubt this was inspired by. Brodsky does an admirable job of going through the inner psyche of a man who is on the edge of death, and all the images and dreams he sees, then it all comes crashing down, with the scintillating detail of a pleasurable image of a burlesque queen turns into the repulsive image of gangrene. The mans fate is written, in horrifying detail. The imagery and mores ending are enough to leave an impact on this reader. This is a must read. (Report) Reply

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