Who included me among the ranks of the human race?

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

Man is what he reads.

Joseph Brodsky

The real history of consciousness starts with one’s first lie.

Joseph Brodsky

Read more quotes from these Nobel Laureates in Literature:

Doris LessingAlice MunroKazuo IshiguroJean Paul Sartre
Mario Vargas LlosaBob DylanPearl S. Buck Albert Camus
J. M. CoetzeeOrhan PamukV.S. Naipaul Seamus Heaney
Ernest HemingwayNadine GordimerG√ľnter GrassKenzaburo Oe
Harold PinterDario FoJose SaramagoWislawa Szymborska
Wole SoyinkaOctavio PazAndre GideGabriel Garcia Marquez
Patrick WhitePablo NerudaSamuel BeckettShmuel Y. Agnon
Bertrand RussellNaguib MahfouzJoseph BrodskyJohn Steinbeck
Salvatore Quasimodo Aleksandr SolzhenitsynThomas MannHermann Hesse

Poetry is rather an approach to things, to life, than it is typographical production.

Joseph Brodsky

Snobbery? But it’s only a form of despair.

Joseph Brodsky

What I like about cities is that everything is king size, the beauty and the ugliness.

Joseph Brodsky

This is the generation whose first cry of life was the Hungarian uprising.

Joseph Brodsky

Life – the way it really is – is a battle not between Bad and Good but between Bad and Worse.

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

The poetic notion of infinity is far greater than that which is sponsored by any creed.

Joseph Brodsky

Every individual ought to know at least one poet from cover to cover: if not as a guide through the world, then as a yardstick for the language.

Joseph Brodsky

It is well to read everything of something, and something of everything.

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

How delightful to find a friend in everyone.

Joseph Brodsky

For the poet the credo or doctrine is not the point of arrival but is, on the contrary, the point of departure for the metaphysical journey.

Joseph Brodsky

A language is a more ancient and inevitable thing than any state.

Joseph Brodsky

Bad literature is a form of treason.

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

For boredom speaks the language of time, and it is to teach you the most valuable lesson of your life – the lesson of your utter insignificance.

Joseph Brodsky

For a writer only one form of patriotism exists: his attitude toward language.

Joseph Brodsky

Cherish your human connections: your relationships with friends and family.

Joseph Brodsky