Bethea, David M. Joseph Brodsky and the Creation of Exile. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1994. Contains a helpful discussion of the development of Brodsky’s poetry and its significance for American letters; examines the influence of other major poets on Brodsky. Chapter 6 is particularly useful for an understanding of the themes addressed in To Urania. Good bibliography and index.
Loseff, Lev, and Valentina Polukhina, eds. Brodsky’s Poets and Aesthetics. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1990. A collection of essays on Brodsky’s poetry; also includes Brodsky’s 1987 Nobel lecture and an interview with him conducted by Bella Akhmadulina. Of special interest to students of To Urania are the essays by George L. Kline and Peter France. Excellent index.
Patterson, David. “Exile in the Diaspora: The Poetry of Joseph Brodsky.” In Exile: The Sense of Alienation in Modern Russian Letters. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1995. Situates the poetry and the themes from To Urania within the larger contexts of Brodsky’s general concerns as a poet. Contains a detailed discussion of the concepts of the sacred, of silence, and of the elsewhere in Brodsky’s poetry.
Polukhina, Valentina. Joseph Brodsky: A Poet for Our Time. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1989. Contains insightful examinations of the notions of time and space, word and spirit, exile and silence. All of the book’s six chapters discuss poems from To Urania, and the last three chapters include comments on the collection as a whole. Good bibliography and index.
Proffer, Carl R. “A Stop in the Madhouse: Brodsky’s Gorbunov and Gorchakov.” Russian Literature Triquarterly 1 (1971): 342-351. One of the first essays on Brodsky’s poetry to be published (it came out before Brodsky was exiled from Russia), this one is perhaps the most thorough and most insightful examination of the longest and most significant poem in To Urania.