Funeral Poems, Readings, Music, Quotations & Thoughts

I Wish You Were Here, Dear

Joseph Brodsky was put on trial in his native Russia for 'Social Parasitism' in the 1970s and imprisoned and sent to Siberia for hard labour for his conviction that he had a calling as a poet. He finally fled to the West and was awarded a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1987. Here he reads a late poem, written in English.

 

A Song

I wish you were here, dear, I wish you were here.
I wish you sat on the sofa
and I sat near.
the handkerchief could be yours,
the tear could be mine, chin-bound.
Though it could be, of course,
the other way around.

I wish you were here, dear,
I wish you were here.
I wish we were in my car,
and you'd shift the gear.
we'd find ourselves elsewhere,
on an unknown shore.
Or else we'd repair
To where we've been before.

I wish you were here, dear,
I wish you were here.
I wish I knew no astronomy
when stars appear,
when the moon skims the water
that sighs and shifts in its slumber.
I wish it were still a quarter
to dial your number.

I wish you were here, dear,
in this hemisphere,
as I sit on the porch
sipping a beer.
It's evening, the sun is setting;
boys shout and gulls are crying.
What's the point of forgetting
If it's followed by dying?

Joseph Brodsky

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