Treasure Island

Joseph Brodsky

(24 May 1940 – 28 January 1996 / Leningrad)

Letter to an Archaeologist


Citizen, enemy, mama's boy, sucker, utter
garbage, panhandler, swine, refujew, verrucht;
a scalp so often scalded with boiling 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 pickax that hurts dead iron;
still, it's gentler than what we've been told or have said ourselves.
Stranger! move carefully through 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.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: concrete, freedom, women, water, alone, woman

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Letter to an Archaeologist by Joseph Brodsky )

Enter the verification code :

Read all 1 comments »

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  9. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Mark Twain, Edgar Albert Guest
  2. Wings Of Freedom, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  3. Unphilosophic, Edgar Albert Guest
  4. The Songs Of Night, Edgar Albert Guest
  5. The Fight Worth While, Edgar Albert Guest
  6. To Italy, Radclyffe Hall
  7. Trustful Ma, Edgar Albert Guest
  8. The Shattered Dream, Edgar Albert Guest
  9. Si Parva Licet Componere Magnis, Radclyffe Hall
  10. The Sympathetic Minister, Edgar Albert Guest

Poem of the Day

poet Henry David Thoreau

My books I'd fain cast off, I cannot read,
'Twixt every page my thoughts go stray at large
Down in the meadow, where is richer feed,
And will not mind to hit their proper targe.
...... Read complete »

   
[Hata Bildir]