Mayakovsky: To His Own Beloved Self

Reply Sat 11 Aug, 2007 12:03 am
My most favorite poet of all times (I don't like poetry all that much. He plays not only with words (gotta read it in Russian), but also with the layout. THat unfortunately won't work on a2k, which likes to align everything on the left, but oh well.

To his Own Beloved Self
The Author Dedicates
These Lines

Vladimir Mayakovsky (1916)

Ponderous. The chimes of a clock.
"Render unto Caesar ... render unto God..."
But where's
someone like me to dock?
Where'11 I find a lair?

Were I
like the ocean of oceans little,
on the tiptoes of waves I'd rise,
I'd strain, a tide, to caress the moon.
Where to find someone to love
of my size,
the sky too small for her to fit in?

Were I poor
as a multimillionaire,
it'd still be tough.
What's money for the soul? -
thief insatiable.
The gold
of all the Californias isn't enough
for my desires' riotous horde.

I wish I were tongue-tied,
like Dante or Petrarch,
able to fire a woman's heart,
reduce it to ashes with verse-filled pages!
My words
and my love
form a triumphal arch:
through it, in all their splendour,
leaving no trace, will pass
the inamoratas of all the ages!

Were I
as quiet as thunder,
how I'd wail and whine!
One groan of mine
would start the world's crumbling cloister shivering.
And if
I'd end up by roaring
with all of its power of lungs and more -
the comets, distressed, would wring their hands
and from the sky's roof
leap in a fever.

If I were dim as the sun,
night I'd drill
with the rays of my eyes,
and also
all by my lonesome,
radiant self
build up the earth's shriveled bosom.

On I'll pass,
dragging my huge love behind me.
On what
feverish night, deliria-ridden,
by what Goliaths was I begot -
I, so big
and by no one needed?
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Reply Sat 11 Aug, 2007 12:05 am
Call to Account!
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Reply Sat 11 Aug, 2007 12:17 am
Cover for his collection Pro Eto (translated as About That, although it really should be For That) dedicated to Lily Brik, with whom he had a long affair (1915-1928). Lily is on the poster. I have it on a t-shirt, weeee.

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Reply Sun 12 Aug, 2007 07:23 am
God I want to learn Russian, if it wasn't so difficult!
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Reply Sun 12 Aug, 2007 11:39 pm
it's really not that difficult. at least it's easier than chinese or japanese. or even hindi. it's only a few letters that are written differently, no big deal. otherwise it's pretty close to polish or slovak or czech... real simple. :wink:


if stars are lit
it means - there is someone who needs it.
It means - someone wants them to be,
that someone deems those specks of spit

And overwrought,
in the swirls of afternoon dust,
he bursts in on God,
afraid he might be already late.
In tears,
he kisses God's sinewy hand
and begs him to guarantee
that there will definitely be a star.
He swears
he won't be able to stand
that starless ordeal.

He wanders around, worried,
but outwardly calm.

And to everyone else, he says:
it's all right.
You are no longer afraid,
are you?'

if stars are lit,
it means - there is someone who needs it.
It means it is essential
that every evening
at least one star should ascend
over the crest of the building.

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Reply Mon 13 Aug, 2007 05:38 pm
Handsome devil he was, too.


Part of an epilogue to Mayakovsky's suicide note (1930)

Past one o'clock. You must have gone to bed.
The Milky Way streams silver through the night.
I'm in no hurry; with lightning telegrams
I have no cause to wake or trouble you.
And, as they say, the incident is closed.
Love's boat has smashed against the daily grind.
Now you and I are quits. Why bother then
To balance mutual sorrows, pains, and hurts.
Behold what quiet settles on the world.
Night wraps the sky in tribute from the stars.
In hours like these, one rises to address
The ages, history, and all creation.
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Reply Mon 13 Aug, 2007 06:33 pm
Well, time for the Cloud in Trousers... it's about loneliness, and that's fitting....seeing that I am posting here for myself, and I seem to be the only one producing any hits here, too. "What?" "Ha! Who said that?" "Nah, it's just you, ole Dagz." "Eh, pulling pranks, are we..."

A Cloud in Trousers [Part 1]

You think malaria makes me delirious?

It happened.
In Odessa it happened.

"I'll come at four," Maria promised.


Then the evening
turned its back on the windows
and plunged into grim night,

At my decrepit back
the candelabras guffawed and whinnied.

You would not recognise me now:
a bulging bulk of sinews,
and writhing,
What can such a clod desire?
Though a clod, many things!

The self does not care
whether one is cast of bronze
or the heart has an iron lining.
At night the self only desires
to steep its clangour in softness,
in woman.

And thus,
I stood hunched by the window,
and my brow melted the glass.
What will it be: love or no-love?
And what kind of love:
big or minute?
How could a body like this have a big love?
It should be teeny-weeny,
humble, little love;
a love that shies at the hooting of cars,
that adores the bells of horse-trams.

Again and again
nuzzling against the rain,
my face pressed against its pitted face,
I wait,
splashed by the city's thundering surf.

Then midnight, amok with a knife,
caught up,
cut him down -
out with him!

The stroke of twelve fell
like a head from a block.

On the windowpanes, grey raindrops
howled together,
piling on a grimace
as though the gargoyles
of Notre Dame were howling.

Damn you!
Isn't that enough?
Screams will soon claw my mouth apart.

Then I heard,
a nerve leap
like a sick man from his bed.
barely moving,
at first,
it soon scampered about,
Now, with a couple more,
it darted about in a desperate dance.

The plaster on the ground floor crashed.

big nerves,
tiny nerves,
many nerves! -
galloped madly
till soon
their legs gave way.

But night oozed and oozed through the room -
and the eye, weighed down, could not slither out of
the slime.

The doors suddenly banged ta-ra-bang,
as though the hotel's teeth

You swept in abruptly
like "take it or leave it!"
Mauling your suede gloves,
you declared:
"D'you know,
I'm getting married."

All right, marry then.
So what,
I can take it.
As you see, I'm calm!
Like the pulse
of a corpse.

Do you remember
how you used to talk?
"Jack London,
But I saw one thing only:
you, a Gioconda,
had to be stolen!

And you were stolen.

In love, I shall gamble again,
the arch of my brows ablaze.
What of it!
Homeless tramps often find
shelter in a burnt-out house!

You're teasing me now?
"You have fewer emeralds of madness
than a beggar has kopeks!"
But remember!
When they teased Vesuvius,
Pompeii perished!

of sacrilege,
and carnage,
have you seen
the terror of terrors -
my face
am absolutely calm?

I feel
my "I"
is much too small for me.
Stubbornly a body pushes out of me.

Who's speaking?
Your son is gloriously ill!
His heart is on fire.
Tell his sisters, Lyuda and Olya,
he has no nook to hide in.

Each word,
each joke,
which his scorching mouth spews,
jumps like a naked prostitute
from a burning brothel.

People sniff
the smell of burnt flesh!
A brigade of men drive up.
A glittering brigade.
In bright helmets.
But no jackboots here!
Tell the firemen
to climb lovingly when a heart's on fire.
Leave it to me.
I'll pump barrels of tears from my eyes.
I'll brace myself against my ribs.
I'll leap out! Out! Out!
They've collapsed.
You can't leap out of a heart!

From the cracks of the lips
upon a smouldering face
a cinder of a kiss rises to leap.

I cannot sing.
In the heart's chapel the choir loft catches fire!

The scorched figurines of words and numbers
scurry from the skull
like children from a flaming building.
Thus fear,
in its effort to grasp at the sky,
lifted high
the flaming arms of the Lusitania.

Into the calm of the apartment
where people quake,
a hundred-eye blaze bursts from the docks.
into the centuries,
if you can, a last scream: I'm on fire!
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Reply Tue 14 Aug, 2007 01:21 pm
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Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2007 12:27 am

Any man born is entitled to love,
but what with jobs,
and other such things,
the heart's core grows harder
from day to day.
The heart wears a body;
the body - a shirt.
Even that's not enough!
the idiot!-
manufactured stiff cuffs
and clamped starch on the chest.
Aging, people suddenly have second thoughts.
Women rub in powder and rouge.
Men do cartwheels according to Muller's system.
But it's too late.
The skin proliferates in wrinkles.
Love flowers,
and flowers
and then withers and shrinks.
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Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2007 12:33 am
I'll have too read throught his whole thread.
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Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2007 12:51 am
one day i will read it to you in russian-ish. that is in english, but conveying all that doesn't get translated. there should be a program for that. simple translation from russian into english just doesn't cut it.
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Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2007 12:58 am
russian-ish? What the hell is that? Is that like spanglish?

You speak Russian?

Will you feed me grapes while you read it to me?
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Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2007 01:13 am
yep, i speak russian. that's why i say the english translation does not compare. can't even stand in the shadow of the original writing in russian.

i'll feed you grapes if you want. i'll have a steak though. medium-rare.
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Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2007 01:18 am
That is quite an Image.

A Slovak Woman reading a Mexican russian who doesn't speak russian while feeding him grapes while he feed her rare steak.

I think I had a dream like that once except there was a midget involved

and he had a hood on.
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Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2007 01:28 am
medium-rare, Mister.
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Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2007 01:46 am
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Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2007 06:51 am
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Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2007 05:40 pm
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Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2007 05:50 pm
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Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2007 05:54 pm
Mayakovsky: "Art is not a mirror to reflect the world, but a hammer with which to shape it"
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