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Brodsky in Cambridge

Joseph Brodsky, the great poet-exile, never revisited his beloved Petersburg. But as Rachel Polonsky remembers, he recited Auden in Cambridge

By Rachel Polonsky   March 1996

There are cities one won’t see again,” Brodsky wrote in his great poem of exile, December in Florence. He might have gone back to Petersburg when the “renamed city” of his birth had been renamed back again. He once said he would return to Russia on condition that everything he had written was published there. If that hasn’t happened yet, it is not for lack of love. It is the fact that Brodsky never did go back to Petersburg-the city he loved and which loved him-that haunts Tatyana Tolstoya’s tender eulogy in the New York Review of Books. When she…

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