Quotes by Joseph Brodsky

A language is a more ancient and inevitable thing than any state.
– Joseph Brodsky
After all, it is hard to master both life and work equally well. So if you are bound to fake one of them, it had better be life.
– Joseph Brodsky
Bad literature is a form of treason.
– Joseph Brodsky
Cherish your human connections: your relationships with friends and family.
– Joseph Brodsky
Every writing career starts as a personal quest for sainthood, for self-betterment. Sooner or later, and as a rule quite soon, a man discovers that his pen accomplishes a lot more than his soul.
– Joseph Brodsky
For a writer only one form of patriotism exists: his attitude toward language.
– Joseph Brodsky
How delightful to find a friend in everyone.
– Joseph Brodsky
I do not believe in political movements. I believe in personal movement, that movement of the soul when a man who looks at himself is so ashamed that he tries to make some sort of change - within himself, not on the outside.
– Joseph Brodsky
It is well to read everything of something, and something of everything.
– Joseph Brodsky
It would be enough for me to have the system of a jury of twelve versus the system of one judge as a basis for preferring the U.S. to the Soviet Union. I would prefer the country you can leave to the country you cannot.
– Joseph Brodsky
Life is a game with many rules but no referee. One learns how to play it more by watching it than by consulting any book, including the holy book. Small wonder, then, that so many play dirty, that so few win, that so many lose.
– Joseph Brodsky
Life-the way it really is-is a battle not between Bad and Good but between Bad and Worse.
– Joseph Brodsky
Man is what he reads.
– Joseph Brodsky
No matter under what circumstances you leave it, home does not cease to be home. No matter how you lived there-well or poorly.
– Joseph Brodsky
Poetry is rather an approach to things, to life, than it is typographical production.
– Joseph Brodsky
Racism? But isn't it only a form of misanthropy?
– Joseph Brodsky
Robert Frost's triumph was not being at John Kennedy's inauguration ceremony, but the day when he put the last period on West-Running Brook.
– Joseph Brodsky
The poetic notion of infinity is far greater than that which is sponsored by any creed.
– Joseph Brodsky
The real history of consciousness starts with one's first lie.
– Joseph Brodsky
The surest defense against Evil is extreme individualism, originality of thinking, whimsicality, even, if you will, eccentricity. That is, something that can't be feigned, faked, imitated; something even a seasoned impostor couldn't be happy with.
– Joseph Brodsky