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Joseph Brodsky
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Poet
    (May 24, 1940-January 28, 1996)
    Born in Leningrad, Russia, USSR
    Wrote ‘Elegy for John Donne and Other Poems’ (1967), ‘A Part of Speech’ (1977), ‘To Urania’ (1988), ‘So Forth’ (1996) and ‘Nativity Poems’ (2001)
    Emigrated to the US (1972)
    Nobel Prize in Literature (1987)
    Poet Laureate of the United States (1991)
    He dropped out of school at age 15.
    He had 13 different jobs in his teens.
    He married one of his students.
    American left wingers saw him as a reactionary.
    He said New York City was bad for balanced people but good for masochists like himself.
    He left the American Academy of Arts and Letters when it honored a writer he considered a Soviet suck-up.
    He hated Vladimir Lenin as a child because his image was everywhere.
    He applied to a submarine academy but was rejected because he was Jewish.
    He was charged with ‘parasitism’ by the Soviet government, sent to a psychiatric hospital and sentenced to five years of hard labor.
    He was forced to leave Russia in 1972 and never saw his parents again.
    He translated the Beatles ‘Yellow Submarine’ into Russian.
    Anna Akhmatova considered him the best poet of his generation.

Credit: Georgina


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