During his periodic stays in Venice, Brodsky was happy
and unhappy in almost equal measure.
He says it himself: “It didn’t matter so much which of the two things,
because I didn’t come here for romantic reasons, but to work,
 to finish a work, to translate, to write a couple of poems,
if I was that lucky; simply to be. That is, neither on a honeymoon
 nor because of a divorce. So he worked.
Happiness or unhappiness simply accompanied me as assistants.”