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A Worse Crime than Burning Books: Joseph Brodsky in the Village


Joseph Brodsky was a Russian poet, born in Leningrad, who became the American Poet Laureate in 1991. He lived at 44 Morton Street and his birthday is May 24.

Like Dylan Thomas, Brodsky wrote a birthday poem. His is called May 24, 1980, and was published in Collected Poems in English. In it he describes various hardships and difficulties in his life, none perhaps worse than being exiled from Russia. Even so, he ends saying: 

Only gratitude will be gushing from it (his larynx).

He also said this:

There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.


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Poetry of Joseph Brodsky

I am curious about the poetry of Brodsky. I hope some day I'll have a chance to read some of them. I am also a poet and once lived on Morton Street. It is a very austere and mysterious street, a peaceful oasis in the hub of Greenwich Village. Living on Morton Street is, in itself, a source of inspiration! Another famous person besides Brodsky who lived on Morton Street was one of the first female film makers. Her name was Maya Garrin. She directed a film noir, a very surrealistic effort called, "Meshes of the Afternoon." She directed and starred in films at a time in history that few women could achieve that. Her films were very beautiful. Have a happy summer! Blessings to you and yours. Geraldine Nathan

Maya Deren

I think you mean Maya Deren (1917-1961), born Eleanora Derenkowskaia (Russian: Элеоно́ра Деренко́вская), was born in Kiev, Ukraine and in 1922 family moved to Syracuse, New York. After graduation she moved to Greenwich Village. Great avant garde photographer and film maker. Blessings also from me and Happy New Year, Jukka Vesanen

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