Joseph Brodsky


For a miracle, take one shepherd’s sheepskin, throw

In a pinch of now, a grain of long ago,

And a handful of tomorrow. Add by eye

A little bit of ground, a piece of sky,


And it will happen. For miracles, gravitating

To earth, know just where people will be waiting,

And eagerly will find the right address

And tenant, even in a wilderness.


Or, if you’re leaving home, switch on a new

Four-pointed star in Heaven as you do,

To light a vacant world with steady blaze

And follow you forever with its gaze.

 (Translated, from the Russian, by Richard Wilbur) 1999




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