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Mayakovsky: To His Own Beloved Self

 
 
LionTamerX
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2007 06:13 pm
I am fated to be a tsar.
On the sunlit gold of my coins
I shall command my subjects to mint

...........Your precious face...

But where the earth fades into tundra,
where the river bargains with the north wind
There,
I'll scratch Lily's name on my fetters
And in the darkness of hard labor

Kiss them

..........again

...................and

................................ again.

..................................... V.V. Mayakovsky


I even named a song
after his two dogs
once.
0 Replies
 
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2007 06:17 pm
Let us hear it!

...good one, this one. I shouldda thought of using the dots for indentation. you're so smart.
0 Replies
 
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2007 07:23 pm
Listen to NPR's the Connection on Mayakovsky: In Life and Death
0 Replies
 
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2007 07:59 pm
One of the guests on that show is a daughter of Mayakovsky's lover Tatyana Yakovleva. There is also a recording of his voice.
They call his poetry a performance art. It has to be read a certain way, its written/designed graphically a certain way.
0 Replies
 
LionTamerX
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2007 08:02 pm
The main library at UNC has a recording or two of the poet himself. Fairly poor sound quality, but his voice really stays with you.
0 Replies
 
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Aug, 2007 08:06 pm
yes. nobody can read it the way he did.

Here's also a 6 minute video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nju_ZQa23jU
0 Replies
 
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Aug, 2007 04:46 pm
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


................ABOUT THIS



................To her and me.

About what --
................about this?

With this theme,
........................both personal
...........................................................and petty,
I've trod the poetical treadmill
not once
................but a dozen times repeated,
and I want to tread it still.
This theme
................even now
................................is Buddha's prayer,
and it grinds a Negro's knife at his master.
If Mars
................has but one human-hearted there,
he'll be
................writing about it
................................................now
............................................................... and everlasting.
This theme will come
.............................................and approach a cripple
nudge his elbow to paper
...................................and order:
............................................................................."Scribble!"
And that cripple
..................... from paper
.....................................soars an eagle's cry,
and with song-lines dazzles the sun on high.
This theme will come,
................................phone from the kichen perhaps,
turn around
..................................and vanish like mushrooms once found,
and a giant
................for a second will stand
....................................................and collapse,
himself under scribbling's ripples down.
This theme will come
..............................................and command :
...................................................................................."Beauty!"
This theme will come
.................................................................and decree :
......................................................................................................."Truth!"
On a cross-beam of arms
.................................................................though crucified mutely,
under your breath you'd hum a waltz on the rood.
With this theme starts to gallop the ABC-
can anything clearer than the ABC be?--
and "A"
.................more inaccessible
.............................................................than Kazbek's steeps.
Stir it up,
................and one no longer eats or sleeps.
Unexhaused through eternity
.......................................................this theme will return,
has but to say:
..................................."Look at me henceforth!"
And looking at it,
...................................a banner-bearer you'll burn,.
a flame of red-silk on a banner-filled earth.
It's a cunning theme this!
.................................................................Under events up-pressing,
in the depths of the instincts preparing to spring,
should it erupt in fury--
.....................................................having dared to suppress it! -
your spirit will burst from your very own skin.
This theme pronounced me, in anger bound,
a command:
...................................."Hand over
.................................................................the reins of your days!"
Wryly looked into my daily round
and people and deeds sattered in rage.
This theme came,
..................................................all set aside
and one and indivisible
..................................................become near and dear.
This theme a knife to my throat was plied.
From heart to temples pounding
............................................................... the hammer-wielder rears.
This theme darkened day into dusk.
"Beat", it commanded,"With your brow-lines above."
The name
................of this theme
................................................is thus :
....!
0 Replies
 
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Aug, 2007 05:14 pm
PRO ETO.

1. THE BALLAD OF READING GAOL

...............
"I stood there -- I remember.
...............That gleam that glittered
............... And that
............... was then
............... called the Neva." -- From "Man".

About a Ballad--
and
about Ballads.

A ballad isn't such a young lad,
but if in pain its words grow sad
and words explain just why they're sung sad,
then younger still will be that ballad.
Lyubyansky Lane
...............Vodopyany Alley
..............................The background
is this.
...............This sets the scene.
In bed is she.
...............She's lying down.
He.
On the table a telephone is seen.
This ballad-to-be is 'he' and 'she'.
Not a terribly novel line.
What's terrible is,
..............................that 'he' -- is me.
and that 'she' --
.................... is mine.

Why a gaol?
....................Christmas.
.............................................Christ a mess.
There're no bars on the window at all!
Mind your business.
.............................................It's a gaol -- I insist.
A table.
...............On the table the last straw.
A number's let
loose along
the wire.

I touched it hardly -- blisters my body.
The receiver dropped prone.
The factory trade-mark --
two arrows spark
and flash to lightning the telephone.
The neighbor's room.
..............................From the neighbor
.............................................sleepily:
"When was that?
..............................Sounds like a squealing piglet!"
From burns the bell now screeches shrill,
white-hot the apparatus glows.
She's in bed!
....................She's ill!
Run!
...............Hurry!
....................You must go!
Flesh smokes, I blanch as the burning jolts.
Lightning spans my body a flashing twitch.
Under the pressure of a million volts
my lips jab into the receiver's molten pitch.
It drilled a hole
....................through the house
..............................and, unencumbered,
ploughed
...............Myasnitsky
....................in its passage,
bursting
....................the cable,
..............................the number
sped
...............to the operator
....................a bullet-message.
The owlish eyes of the operator flutters --
working for two on this holiday shift.
Again the red lamp lights up and stutters.
It rings!
............... The lamp was short lived.
Suddenly
............... the lamps went berserk,
..............................and then --
the whole telephone network was torn to shreds, see!
"67-10 !
...............Connect me !"
In the little Alley!
..............................Hurry!
.............................................Into Vodopyany's quiet!
Look out!
............... or else electrically that call --
on Xmas Eve --
....................will blow you sky-high --
yes,
...............with your telephone exchanges and all.
In Myasnitsky there lived one oldest inhabitant.
He lived after that a hundred years later --
and about that only --
..............................a century extant! --
the old'un to the young'uns related!
"Once upon a Saturday...
.............................................on Sunday eve...
Went for a ham-bone...
.............................................wanted a cheap treat...
Suddenly -- bang!...
..............................An earthquake heave...
Soles scorch...
....................It rocks under my feet!..."
But the kids didn't believe.
.............................................it could be so.
An earthquake?
.............................................In winter?
.............................................At the G.P.O.?

The telephone
hurls itself
at everyone

A miracle squeezed through the tiny wire,
forcing wide the funnel of the receiver's rim,
with a pogrom of bells storming the quiet,
from the telephone a lava bursts over the brim.
That shrilling,
....................that ting-a-linging,
burst against the walls,
............................................. tried to blow them in the air.
Rings
...............by the thousand
.............................................from the walls
.............................................came aspringing,
rolling under the bed
..............................and under the chair.
From the floor to the ceiling the bell ringing soared.
Then again,
...............like a ringing bell aswinging,
boomed to the ceiling, bounced from the floor,
and splattered down in a spray of ringing.
Window after window,
.............................................damper after damper
strove to ring
...............with the telephone in tone.
Shaking the house,
..............................like a children's rattle
...............rampant.
the engulfing rings were drowning the phone.

The Second

Barely seen-
..............................from sleepiness --
.............................................pupil-point eyes
needle cheeks of burning red.
Lethargically, the cook arises,
groaning and hawking,
.............................................from her bed.
Her brow thought-furrows scar,
till she's picked an apple.
"Who?
...............Vladim Vladimich?
..............................Ah!"
Off she went, slippers flapping.
...............The Second measures the paces from here.,
She goes.
The paces die away...
..............................till hardly perceived...
Somewhere the rest of the world disappears,
an unknown aims at me with that receiver.

The Enlightenment
of the World

At all meetings stock-still the speakers stand,
unable to finish the gestures they began.
Just as they were,
..............................mouths wide
.............................................with amaze,
they watch
..............................this Birthday of all Birthdays.
Squabble after squabble
.............................................is life to them seemingly.
Their homes
..............................of everyday muck are fashioned.
As if in themselves,
..............................looking at me,
they awaited
...............a deadly duel of passion.
The hurly-burly's whirligig no longer rotates.
Ossified the siren's howling breath.
Only the dueling ground
..............................and Doctor Time awaits
with the endless bandages of healing death.
Moscow --
...............beyond Moscow fields silent gleam.
Oceans --
...............beyond oceans mountains blend.
The whole
...............universe
..............................as if through binoculars seen,
through gigantic binoculars (from the wrong end).
The horizon straightens
.............................................so even, it seems
braid.
...............Whipcord stretched to its limit, see,
I in my room --
..............................am one extreme.
In your room you -- the other extremity.
And between --
...............such,
.............................. as could never be dreamed,
in a proud new raiment, gleaming whitely,
through the universe
..............................lay Myasnitsky and seemed
a miniature carved from ivory.
Clarity.
...............The transparentest clarity of tormented dread.
In Myasnitsky
............... a detail of dexterous skill therein,
a cable
...............gossamer-tenuous --
..............................why, simply a thread!
And everything
...............hangs on that very threadikin.

The Duel

One!
...............The receiver points.
..............................Hope has been
abandoned.
..............................Two!
..............................Slowly it rises
and stops,
............... dead steady,
..............................right between
my
...............entreaty-clouded eyes.
At that woman's slowness I want to cry:
"What's the show-off?
..............................You stand like D'Anthes poised.
Hurry,
...............hurry,
..............................burrow through the wire
a bullet
...............of any caliber or poison."
More terrible than a bullet --
..............................that from-there-to-here
............... pause,
the housekeeper drops between her yawns,
a swallowed rabbit in the boa-constrictor's jaws --
along the cable,
...............I see,
..............................a WORD crawls.
More terrible than a word --
.............................................from primordial history,
when only fangs would win men mates,
crawled out
...............from the flex --
.............................................clawing jealousy,
a monster of those troglodyte days.
But can it be ...
............... Of course it can!
No one crawled into the phone at all,
there is no troglodyte-like pan.
Just myself in the phone,
.............................................mirrored in metal.
They should write him circulars from the A.C.E.C.!
With the Erfurt Programme, check its correctness.
Through one's first sorrow
.............................. raging,
.............................................senselessly,
a brain-burrowing beast crawls
.............................................reckless.

What Can
Happen to
a Man

Handsome enough.
..............................Comrades!
.............................................Weigh the pros and cons then!
This coming summer a poet,
.............................................who
will tour Paris,
...............a respectable Izvestia correspondent,
now scratches the chair with claws through his shoe.
Yesterday a man --
.............................. with one stroke alone
of my fangs my looks I polar-beared!

Shaggy.
...............My shirt hangs like furry hair.
You're also going there!?
..............................to moan into the phone!?
Go back to the Arctic!
..............................To your own!

Polar-bearing

Like a bear,
...............when to deadly anger prone,
my breast
...............I turn
..............................to my foe--the phone.
Into the two-pronged receiver rest,
deep into the boar-spear,
..............................my heart is pressed.
It gushes
...............a stream of coppery red.
Howls and blood
...............lapping, darkness sped.
I don't know
...............if they weep,
..............................no bears exist,
but if they weep,
..............................then it's just like this.
Just like this:
...............without sympathetic falseness,
they're whimpering,
bursting into ravines of howls.
And like this their neighbor-bear Balshin,
by whimpering awakened, behind the wall growls.
Yes, just like that can howl every bear:
immobile,
...............jutting upward
..............................his jaws,
and howling himself out
..............................lies in his lair,
tearing his cave with twenty claws.
A leaf dropped.
...............A landslide.
..............................It scared.
Let no rifle-cones
..............................shoot a salvo from the pines.
He could only have been like that polar-beared
through tears and fur, fringing the eyes.

The
Leaky
Room

A bedstead
...............of iron.
..............................Blanket jumbled.
He lies on the bedstead.
..............................Quiet.
.............................................Shivering.
Tremors
............... through the bedstead rumble.
The bed-sheet wavelike is quivering.
Water licked a leg with a cold clammy touch.
Where's the water from?
..............................Why so much?
It's me crying.
...............Sniveling.
..............................Dribbling tears.
It's not true --
............... one couldn't cry so much in years.
That damned bath!
..............................Behind the sofa water wells.
Under the table
...............behind the bookcase,
then from the sofa
..............................the water propels
out through the casement, a flowing suitcase.
The hearth...
...............A fag-end...
..............................Chucked it myself.
Must put it out.
...............Put myself out.
.............................. Fear.
Where to?
...............To what hearth on earth I'm impelled?
A mile..
...............Beyond, shores of bonfires appear.
Everything's washed away,
..............................even the smell of cabbage,
ever cooking
...............in the kitchen,
..............................cloying-sweet.
A river.
...............Far shores.
..............................How deserted and savage!
In pursuit from Lagoda how the wind howls fleet!
A river.
............... A mighty river.
..............................Freezingness there.
0 Replies
 
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Aug, 2007 09:54 pm
Our planet
is poorly equipped
for delight.
One must snatch
gladness
from the days that are.
In this life
it's not difficult to die.
To make life
is more difficult by far.
0 Replies
 
Amigo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Aug, 2007 10:04 pm
Wow! The one before that is pretty crazy looking.

I didn't read it. I don't feel like reading anything.

I'll just look at it like it's a painting.
0 Replies
 
LionTamerX
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Aug, 2007 10:05 pm
dagmaraka wrote:
Our planet
is poorly equipped
for delight.
One must snatch
gladness
from the days that are.
In this life
it's not difficult to die.
To make life
is more difficult by far.


Ah, the irony... That was his dig at Esenin, no ?

Whose translations are these ?
0 Replies
 
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Aug, 2007 10:07 pm
Yes. You should see To His Beloved Self - the book. All poems looks like paintings there. That's dadaism. My nickname in high school was Dada, but that's unrelated.

Sigh. i don't feel like reading anything either. Or doing anything. Blank.
0 Replies
 
Amigo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Aug, 2007 10:14 pm
Whatever you say Dada.
0 Replies
 
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Aug, 2007 10:19 pm
I wish I knew, LTX. The translations are often not attributed online. The Pro Eto translation was terrible, but it was the only one I found.

There's just so much that's lost. The melody of the Russian language that he plays with so much, even the atmosphere is kinda changed with the translations. Meh. What can one do. Posting them in Russian wouldn't do a whole lot of good.

Cheers, amigo. Na zdravie!
0 Replies
 
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Aug, 2007 01:01 pm
Last part of the At the Top of My Voice (1928-30)



I know the power of words, I know words' tocsin.

They're not the kind applauded by the boxes.

From words like these coffins burst from the earth

and on their own four oaken legs stride forth.

It happens they reject you, unpublished, unprinted.

But saddle-girths tightening words gallop ahead.

See how the centuries ring and trains crawl

to lick poetry's calloused hands.

I know the power of words. Seeming trifles that fall

like petals beneath the heel-taps of dance.

But man with his soul, his lips, his bonesÂ…
0 Replies
 
Hercules
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2007 12:58 pm
mahokovsky
thanks Dagmaraka for introducing me to this poet.
What I have read of him so far is sensational...
I'll be looking up more on him
0 Replies
 
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2007 01:19 pm
you're welcome, Hercules. There is not much by way of quality translations online, but I'm sure you can find books for cheap online on Amazon or half.com. I'd start with Pro Eto (About That or For That...depending on translation) or To His Own Beloved Self.. They are about 15 years apart in publication, and I think the difference is visible...though I love his youthful poetry just as much as when he grew older (well, he died still young).
0 Replies
 
theadritaylor
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Oct, 2007 04:42 pm
mayakovsky is easily my favorite poet of all time. i have read a variety of translations for a cloud in trousers, the first was the best. when i read that piece it almost makes me want to never write again for fear of incompetence... damn he was great.. a rockstar before there were rockstars.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Nov, 2007 06:08 pm
Cool thread.

I did an improvised parody of Mayakovsky, amongst other Soviet 1920s stuff, here some time, when I had discovered the Chickenology Encyclopedia...

nimh wrote:
Why do chickens cross roads?
(Two parodies)

Vladimir Mayakovsky piss-take:

Quote:

The chicken!
Mighty beast
He walks on
Heaven's, Non-existant,
taunting tracks!

See this, Mister God!
With your dripping fat eyes
tearing your teeth at
innocent chickpea thighs!

Ha!

Once again - I take my
downcast heart,
shake my shaggy head ...
Night will come, darkly -
and devour you, chicken-Mary!
Hurry!
Hurry across the road of
Rebellion, and wear
the Revolution's thorny crown!


0 Replies
 
 

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