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Christmas Memorial


Every year the poet and dissident Joseph Brodsky (1940–96) wrote a Christmas poem; they were published in a bilingual edition in 2001, with translations by Brodsky himself and other poets. Here are the last three lines from “Imagine striking a match that night in the cave,” translated by Seamus Heaney (d. 2013).

Imagine the Lord, for the first time, from darkness, and stranded
immensely in distance, recognizing Himself in the Son
of Man: homeless, going out to Himself in a homeless one.