I was told by a man whose opinion I can�t but respect that Brodsky in English translation can�t hold a candle to himself in Russian. I said I enjoy his English poems as much as Russian, he said �it�s because you are Russian�. Can you tell me, what�s wrong with this one, for example? (Just for example).
Epitaph for a Centaur
To say that he was unhappy is either to say too much or too little: depending on who�s the audience. Still, the smell he�d give off was a bit too odious, and his canter was also quite hard to match. He said, They meant just a monument, but something went astray: the womb? the assembly line? the economy? Or else, the war never happened, they befriended the enemy, and he was left as it is, presumably to portray Intransigence, Incompatibility � that sort of things which proves not so much one�s uniqueness or virtue, but probability. For years, resembling a cloud, he wandered in olive groves, marveling at one-leggedness, the mother of immobility. Learned to lie to himself, and turned it into an art for want of a better company, also to check his sanity. And he died fairly young � because his animal part turned out to be less durable than his humanity. [ October 16, 2005: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
My armchair criticism: the images are poetic, but much of the linguistic trappings of "poetry" are missing here: no alliteration, or verse, or onomatopoeia. There is some rhyme, but it's almost Seussian and hardly counts.