The Complete Poems of Louis Daniel Brodsky
Volume One, 1963–1967

edited by Sheri L. Vandermolen

Hardback and Paperback: 633 pp.
Published: 1996

Price: $39.95/$25.00




As the initial volume of an impressive series comprising the full collection of verse by Louis Daniel Brodsky, this book begins with Brodsky's first poem, written during his final months at Yale, in 1963, and traces the author's maturation into his apprentice years (when he was a young graduate student in English, at Washington University, in St. Louis), presenting the hundreds of poems, prose poems, and short, autobiographical prose works he had composed by June of 1967, when he launched his professional writing career.

These pieces serve not only as a measure of Brodsky’s evolution as a poet but as a human being, chronicling one man’s struggle to find his purpose in life, to make a place for himself in a society often at odds with his own convictions. His hopes, fears, and frustrations permeate the work, revealing the intense inner conflicts he felt compelled to set to paper, from individual matters — his indecision over vocational goals, his candid experiences with love and rejection, the overwhelming isolation inherent in his academic pursuits — to more global concerns, especially his acute awareness of the increasing social and political turbulence surrounding him.

By grappling with these issues in his writing, he explored passionate emotions, released tension, and, at times, resolved doubts evoked through his introspection. But more important, he used this outpouring to hone his creative skills and develop his personal and professional identity, ultimately creating this tangible record of his travail and his ecstasy, his certitude and his confusion, and, finally, his journey into the heart of the person he would never stop becoming — a poet.

Read the Introduction.




Another Mother

When the last granules scratch the glass neck,
A man will dig more buckets of sand
From islands on which he's stranded himself
And hope to extend his amnesty.
But he stands a slave to his waning age.

Alone in his own failing quietude,
A man will go an untried way
To hear his dry voice echoing
On the farther side of an alien cave.
But his words are gaunt and emasculate.

With his attitude planted before the grave,
A man will pry open his iron lids,
Draw back the tomb's grey-wrinkled face,
Which hides ripe secrets buried in youth,
And cry for that woman who breathed his birth.

When wreaths are hung about his eyes,
A man will lock all his doors for sleep
And creep back into his childhood bunk,
Waiting for his mother to tuck him in
And lie beside him while he says his prayers.


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