Monday, April 26, 2010
The first few lines of this poem remind me of the Chekhov quotation from the video we watched in class that said, "The Russian people adore their past, hate their present, and fear their future." When Brodsky writes that when the future is mentioned, "mice rush out of the Russian language and gnaw a piece of ripened memory which is twice as hole-ridden as real cheese," I cannot help but think how closely Russia's past ties in with its present and its future. Memory fades over time. This seems to be the real meaning behind "Part of Speech" When memory fades, people tend to remember only the best of times. The bad things get blocked out. Russians adore the past because they remember only the good times. The present is hated because it is filled with daily issues and problems to solve. The future is feared because it is uncertain, unlike the past which has already occurred and is concretely etched. When man dies, as the speaker points out, "What gets left of a man amounts to a part. To his spoken part. To a part of speech." Chekhov's words prove exactly this. He is remembered for what he said. We are all remembered for what we do and say, not for who we are.
at 2:20 PM