I met Joseph Brodsky once back in the early 80s, after a reading. I spoke to him about my interest in the Russians, and my tepid feeling about American poetry. His advice was, "Read Auden."
Now one can judge this the typical comment of a literary conservative. But I'm using it simply to underline (for emphasis) my previous post. In Auden, I think Brodsky recognized a literary professional in the Pushkinian/Petersburg mode.