The Complete Poems of Louis Daniel Brodsky
Volume Four, 1981-1985

edited by Sheri L. Vandermolen

Paperback: 943 pp.
Published: 2008

Price: $27.95




Tracing the days of the writer edging into middle age, the 888 poems presented in volume four of The Complete Poems of Louis Daniel Brodsky offer a glimpse into the frenzied life of a man compelled, by his discipline and inner passion, to capture the elements of his existence and explode them upon the page.

Starting in January 1981 and following through December 1985, the pieces detail Brodsky's stark, ever-increasing loneliness, which was only occasionally mitigated by joyous moments spent with his wife and two children. Removing himself, more and more regularly, from the doldrums of business and the insularity of Farmington, Missouri, Brodsky also wrote about his need to escape his routines, pursue acquisitions for his Faulkner collection, with his visits to Oxford, Mississippi, where he held a position of honor, among academics and critics, and where he felt a sense of kinship, belonging, among the locals. Throughout, a reader feels the mounting tension, as Brodsky earns fame, as a Faulkner scholar, but considers himself a failure, as a poet and as a husband, absentee father, and businessman, who can never measure up to the expectations of others.

Startlingly honest and bristling with the energy of Brodsky's discontent, this book records the poet gaining momentum, as a writer, even as his personal life spirals out of control.

Read the Introduction.






Morning light brings me to my senses,

Awakens me, abruptly,

To the fading nocturnality of sleep phases

My eyes have just left behind

To seek refuge beyond Lethe's wet lips.

Io invites me to taste liquors

Dripping irresistibly from tree-tongues

Speaking the sweetest eulogies,

Singing themselves through cool autumnalities,

Into death-erections, time-climaxes,

Orgasms tinged plum and ocher,

Burgundy and cucumber and pumpkin hues.

My nostrils sip from the eyes' snifters,

Then get crazy,

My breathing filled with erratic, dazzle-dizzy beats,


Whose arrhythmic caesuras                    

Reflect moon-tides, blood-flooding in veins

Rooted in air and earth and flesh.

Suddenly, my own waking

Turns to wizened inspiration.

My transmogrified eyes

Enter the aroma fallen leaves exude

In their various stages of sacred decay.

Fortunately, poets, like dinosaurs and volcanoes,

Require a thousand thousand years to disappear.





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