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No country, no churchyard: Why the body of Joseph Brodsky was buried only a year and a half after his departure

The fate of the brilliant poet Joseph Brodsky was not always kind to him. At home, he was persecuted, he was placed in a psychiatric clinic, and after emigration was not allowed even to come to the USSR to bury his family. And even after his departure boiled passions and disputes about how, where should rest his body. It took a whole year and a half to find a place for the last rest of the poet.

Unloved son of his homeland

The first public performance at the tournament of poets 20-year-old Joseph Brodsky led to a scandal. His poem “Jewish cemetery” and the skirmish that followed his recitation were perceived by the party leadership as a challenge. The jury under pressure was forced to condemn the young writer. Thus began the persecution of Joseph Brodsky.

Three years later, articles began to appear, criticizing, distorting the facts and denouncing. As a result, Brodsky was accused of parasitism, after a mental disorder. And sent to the clinic for treatment, after which he was exiled.

Such conditions were created that Joseph Brodsky was simply forced to leave the country not to go to compulsory treatment again, and even to prison. In 1972, the 32-year-old poet arrived in the United States. Here he had the opportunity to write, and even taught at the University. He told his students about the wonderful world of poetry, taught to separate the main from the secondary. Brodsky himself did not even have a full secondary education, and his lectures were collected by many who wanted to see the incredible poetic action, which turned his lectures and seminars.

Undermine health

In America, Joseph Brodsky came to have a very unhealthy man. In addition to the pathology of the heart vessels, which was the poet from birth, he suffered a heart attack in 1964.

Naturally, health problems only worsened over the years. The second heart attack happened to the poet in 1976, two years later he underwent heart surgery. The poet’s parents were not allowed to leave the Soviet Union to see their son. Later, when his parents were gone, Brodsky was also not allowed to say goodbye to his father or mother, denying him entry to the USSR even for a funeral.

In 1985 and 1994, Joseph Brodsky suffered two more heart attacks. The last, fifth, he could not survive. He died on the night of January 26, 1996 in Brooklyn.

A year and a half in search of the last refuge

Immediately the poet was buried in a crypt at the Church of the Holy Trinity, to later decide to move the body of Joseph Brodsky in a place where he will rest.

State Duma Deputy Galina Starovoitova immediately sent a telegram to new York. She offered to transport the ashes of the outstanding poet to Russia and bury on Vasilievsky island. However, this proposal was not accepted. The reason for the refusal was the inability to decide for Brodsky himself, who never spoke about his desire to return to his homeland.

Already in 1998, the poet Ilya Kutik claimed in his memoirs that Brodsky wanted to be buried in new York, near Broadway. And even supposedly bought a place in the cemetery. However, no evidence of this fact was found.

More than a year, took the process of choosing places for burial of the poet. Brodsky’s widow Maria Sozzani later made the final decision when one of his friends offered a cemetery on the island of San Michele in Venice.

In fact, it was one of the most beloved cities of Joseph Alexandrovich, to which he treated with almost the same tenderness as his beloved St. Petersburg. Played a role and the fact that Maria Sotstsani herself Italian in origin.

However, even at the cemetery itself, it was not immediately possible to determine the place where Brodsky’s grave would be located. Russian grave it was impossible, although initially his last refuge was to be between the graves of Stravinsky and Diaghilev. The ban was received from the Orthodox Church, as Brodsky was never Orthodox. In the Catholic part of the cemetery, the clergy also did not give permission for burial.

As a result, on June 21, 1997 the poet’s body was buried in the Protestant part of the cemetery, crowning the grave with a wooden cross. Only a few years later there was a monument of authorship of Vladimir Radunsky. There are always many flowers on the grave, notes with poems, there are even cigarettes and whiskey.

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