SOVIET UNION: A Poet's Second Exile

One of the passengers in the planeloads of Soviet Jews who disembarked at Vienna airport last week was a bewildered young man of 32 who declared: "They have simply kicked me out of my country, using the Jewish issue as an excuse." The reluctant expatriate was Joseph Brodsky, who is widely regarded in Russia and the West as one of the U.S.S.R.'s finest poets.

Brodsky's expulsion was puzzling.The Soviets have sometimes "invited" Jews and non-Jews whom they regard as troublemakers to leave Russia. But Brodsky—who is Jewish—is not an active dissident, a Zionist or a...

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