Spring 2001 • Vol. XXIII No. 2 Cultures of Creativity: The Centennial Celebration of the Nobel PrizesApril 1, 2001 |

Form in Poetry

Joseph Brodsky and Derek Walcott in a conversation with Bengt Jangfeldt Introduction by Bengt Jangfeldt In September 1993, two Nobel laureates in literature, Joseph Brodsky (1987) and Derek Walcott (1992), were invited to the University of Linköping in Sweden for a poetry reading, followed by a discussion. Bengt Jangfeldt, Brodsky's Swedish translator, led the discussion on "Form in Poetry." The subject was chosen because Brodsky and Walcott both have exhibited (Joseph Brodsky died in 1996) a keen awareness of the value of traditional forms in poetry. As opposed to many modern poets, they have never renounced formal verse patterns, including rhyme. On the contrary, they both have argued for the importance of continuity and tradition in poetry. Joseph Brodsky would even go so far as to advocate the idea that "verse meters in themselves are kinds of spiritual magnitudes for which nothing can be substituted." For many poets writing in the English language this is a highly

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Joseph Brodsky (1940-1996) was a Russian-Jewish poet, writer, director, and translator. He survived the Nazi siege of Leningrad during WWII and was arrested and prosecuted by the Soviet Regime before his emigration. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1987 and was appointed the US Poet Laureate for 1991.
Derek Walcott published numerous collections of poetry, as well as plays and essays. He received the 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature, and was a MacArthur Foundation Genius Award winner.

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Joseph Brodsky and Derek Walcott in a conversation with Bengt Jangfeldt Introduction by Bengt Jangfeldt In September 1993, two Nobel laureates in literature, Joseph Brodsky (1987) and Derek Walcott (1992), […]

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