The subject of analysis in this article is the motif of a creaking pen in the poems of Joseph Brodsky. It is proved that this motif and its implementation in terms of expression go back to Anna Akhmatova’s “Northern Elegies” (to the “Third” elegy), and with a high degree of certainty it is permissible to call this coincidence a quotation. For both poets, this motive refers to the theme of creativity, but Akhmatova emphasizes the connection between creativity and the era, Brodsky expresses the desire to avoid such dependence and interprets poetry as opposition to non-existence. The probable reminiscences from the “Northern Elegies” discussed in the article
indicate that the impact of Anna Akhmatova’s work on Brodsky was deeper than is sometimes believed. They also show that the reception of this creativity was expressed in a dialogue that does not exclude elements of controversy.