A Part of Speech. Joseph Brodsky.
A Part of Speech

A Part of Speech

New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1980. 1st Edition. Octavo, publisher’s navy cloth, spine gilt, upper board blindstamped, blue endpapers, original illustrated dust jacket.

"From the point of view of air, the edge of earth is everywhere." First edition of preeminent Russian-American poet Joseph Brodsky’s second major collection in English translation. Born in Leningrad, Brodsky quit school at 15-years old, taking on menial jobs, traveling around Russia on geological expeditions, and writing poetry under the tutelage of his friend, Anna Akhmatova. After being exiled by the Soviet authorities due to "malicious parasitism" (the judge called him a "a pseudo-poet in velveteen trousers," failing to take on "constitutional duty to work honestly for the good of the motherland”", Brodsky was sent to a psychiatric hospital, which he later reflected on in his best-known long poem Gorbunov and Gorchakov (1970). After years of persecution for his poetry and Jewish heritage, he arrived in the US in 1972. Containing poems collected between 1965 and 1978 (including the first poem he wrote in English, "Elegy: For Robert Lowell") and translated by ten English and American poets including Derek Walcott, Anthony Hecht, and Richard Wilbur, this collection sealed his position as a fixture in the American literary landscape. Dust jacket designed by Cynthia Krupat, "the Edith Head of book design," according to writer Wayne Kostenbaum. Light tonong to board edges; unclipped dust jacket with light edgewear. Near fine. Item #5163

$65.00

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