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I am familiar with neither Mayakovsky nor Russian poetry or the language, but I felt this was a well done translation of the work of a great poet. The short bio of the author at the back of this book explains that his use of rhyme and control of meter and rhythm back Mayakovsky's work hard to translate. But since these translations do rhyme while still making sense and without feeling contrived or stretched, I think the translator must have done an excellent job. The imagery is mostly very dark, I am familiar with neither Mayakovsky nor Russian poetry or the language, but I felt this was a well done translation of the work of a great poet.

The imagery is mostly very dark, which is fine although I prefer otherwise. But many of the poems arr very original. My favorites are Moonlit Night, Listen! Petersburg, Lilichka! View all 3 comments. Mar 15, Anna Konovalova rated it it was amazing. Recently I have understood that even though I am madly in love with Mayakovsky, I haven't read almost any of his big poems.

So I've felt an extreme need to change the situation. And I fell in love for the second third, hundredth, thousandth time. Picked up the random edition of his poems, because I'm not even sure if his big poems were eveer published as a standalone book. Nov 30, Abraham Phillips rated it it was amazing. This was another random poetry buy for me. What is interesting about this book is on the one page you get the work in the original language and on the opposite page the work in English.

I have never experienced the amazing one of a kind control that Vladimir has. He takes, a sentence and brings it to life in an emotional roller coaster of changes within moods and emotional appeal. A word to him, comes to life in vibrant colors of personal senses. Mayakovsky created a living emotionally desired truth, that lingered from page to mind and then into the heart, but most of all the soul. Mayakovsky creates inside his poetry something so bold, so exploratory, that the senses of the one reading, can't help but feel wasted, thoroughly excited, and exhausted.

His poetry is truly a unique journey that I have to say in all honesty I am floored I had never heard of him or read any of his wonderful works. What makes him stand out is his unique and odd reality of writing. Which I gather is the problem in translating most of his work because he used a unique writing style only to him.

His work is odd because he did irregular line breaks while writing his poetry that most poets would never dare to do. Sometimes rhyme and non-rhyme that came together in sync and then non-sync. He blasted his work with massive metaphors and descriptions through his personal imagery that made his poetry a one of kind in nature. His writing gave such power to words. His words in a sense bled.

His senses became your senses. You were the actions, emotions, reactions of his words. You become transfixed upon the poems. You became the lover of words displayed in senses. You became the emotional bleeding. You became the desire of colors throughout his writing.


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Sadly, he was only 36 years old when he died. He truly was a soul that knew writing. He was a soul that became words. He was a soul that created emotionally charged poetry that will stand the test of time. Truly a shame it took me this long to experience this master talent. Would I Return to: In a heartbeat? I have already started reading it a second time. His work is truly a one of a kind experience and I am happy that I came across this book.

Four Final Words: Brilliant. Emotionally Intense. If I allow my vast voice to rumble, - the comets, wringing their burning arms, would plunge in anguish Page 63 A pimp and a fraud all the while. Jul 16, Mohammed Yusuf rated it really liked it. Jan 03, Mycala rated it it was amazing Shelves: made-me-think , inspiration , , permanent-library , read-harder-challenge I was introduced to Mayakovsky in an Art History class.

I knew a little bit about him -- that he had a commanding presence when he read his poetry and that he was a tortured soul involved with a married woman, among others. When I had the opportunity to find a book of poems lovingly translated from the Russian which I am disappointed I don't speak or read because I understand the original work is more brilliant than I am able to comprehend in the English version , I jumped. My goodness, what a I was introduced to Mayakovsky in an Art History class. My goodness, what a swoon-worthy fellow on so many levels.


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  6. It is possible to ache while reading. The one about the violin that annoyed the other instruments captured my imagination and I love that he ran out to the orchestra to comfort the violin and tell it that they were the same. It's a shame he removed himself from the world so soon. I mourn for the work that would have come with age and further experience. I have chosen this book for the category of "written between and ", for the original poems. Oct 09, Antonio Delgado rated it really liked it. These poems fall into the category of world literature.

    One can not ignore reading traces of Flaubert, Goethe or even Dostoyevsky. Nov 30, Paul rated it liked it Shelves: poetry. I struggle with poetry in translation, as it is hard to know if you are really hearing the original voice. Here at least the Russian versions are printed alongside, which I can just about manage to read phonetically, but I felt that I was missing something reading these poems in English.

    Jul 14, Ashley rated it really liked it Shelves: slavic-and-eurasian-studies , russia. A few weird inconsistencies in translations, but overall it's pretty good! Of course, much of my rating is that I really like Mayakovsky and for Mayakovsky himself, I would give five stars. Readers also enjoyed. About Vladimir Mayakovsky. Vladimir Mayakovsky. His father was of Ukrainian Cossack descent and his mother was of Ukrainian descent. Although Mayakovsky spoke Georgian at school and with friends, his family spoke primarily Russian at home.

    At the age of 14 Mayakovsky took part in socialist demonstrations at the town of Kutaisi, where he attended the local grammar school. After the sudden and premature death of his father in , the family — Mayakovsky, his mother, and his two sisters — moved to Moscow, where he attended School No.

    Selected Poems

    In , he was dismissed from the grammar school because his mother was no longer able to afford the tuition fees. Around this time, Mayakovsky was imprisoned on three occasions for subversive political activities but, being underage, he avoided transportation. Still with sound of trumpet, Far, far off the daybreak call—hark! They stand forth out of affairs, out of commerce, shops,. Could I wish humanity different? Could I wish the people made of wood and stone? Or that there be no justice in destiny or time? And who are you, blabbing by rote, years, pages,.

    What about these likes of myself that draw me so close. Recalling now the obscure shapes, the echoes, the sounds. What is that little black thing I see there in the white? O troubled reflection in the sea! O throat! O throbbing heart! And I singing uselessly, uselessly all the night. Paumanok, Where they rustle up hoarse and sibilant, Where the fierce old mother endlessly cries for her.

    The old graveyards of the hills have hurried to see! Cock'd hats of mothy mould—crutches made of mist! Arms in slings—old men leaning on young men's. Does the ague convulse your limbs? President's marshal, If you groan such groans you might balk the government. You have got your revenge, old buster—the crown is. Liberty, let others despair of you—I never despair of. Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean,. I rendezvous with my poems, A traveler's lodging and breakfast as journey through.

    For I myself am not one who bestows nothing upon man. These eager business aims—books politics, art, amours, To utter nothingness? O Manhattan, my own, my peerless! O strongest you in the hour of danger, in crisis! O truer. How you sprang—how you threw off the costumes of. Manhattan arming. The blood of the city up—arm'd! Would the talkers be talking? Then rattle quicker, heavier drums—you bugles wilder. How envied by all the earth. I hear the drums beat and the trumpets blowing, I myself move abroad swift-rising flying then, I use the wings of the land-bird and use the wings of the.

    New Orleans, I see far in the West the immense area of grain, I dwell. With passions of demons, slaughter, premature death? Eastern shore, and my Western shore the same, And all between those shores, and my ever-running. Mississippi with bends and chutes, And my Illinois fields, and my Kansas fields, and my. O pennant! Valueless, object of eyes, over all and demanding all—. I too leave the rest—great as it is, it is nothing—houses,.

    O banner so broad,. Niagara pouring, I travell'd the prairies over and slept on their breast, I. O wild as my heart, and powerful! Heard the continuous thunder as it bellow'd after the. What, to pavements and homesteads here, what were. What, to passions I witness around me to-day? How it climbs with daring feet and hands—how it How the true thunder bellows after the lightning—how. How Democracy with desperate vengeful port strides on,. And do you rise higher than ever yet O days, O cities!

    When you yourself forever provide to defend me? For you provided me Washington—and now these also. Proud and passionate city—mettlesome, mad, extrava-. Spring up O city—not for peace alone, but be indeed. Fear not—submit to no models but your own, O city! Behold me—incarnate me, as I have incarnated you! Smell you the buckwheat where the bees were lately. Above all, lo, the sky so calm, so transparent after the. And come to the entry mother, to the front door come. She does not tarry to smooth her hair nor adjust her. All swims before her eyes, flashes with black, she. Who are you my dear comrade?

    Who are you sweet boy with cheeks yet blooming? And sullen hymns of defeat? In mercy come quickly. I should never tire, Give me a perfect child, give me away aside from the. Give me interminable eyes—give me women—give me. Let me see new ones every day—let me hold new ones. Give me such shows—give me the streets of Manhattan! Give me Broadway, with the soldiers marching—give. The soldiers in companies or regiments—some starting.

    O such for me! O an intense life, full to repletion and The life of the theatre, bar-room, huge hotel, for me! The saloon of the steamer! Manhattan faces and eyes forever for me. T HE last sunbeam Lightly falls from the finish'd Sabbath, On the pavement here, and there beyond it is looking,. Lo, the moon ascending, Up from the east the silvery round moon, Beautiful over the house-tops, ghastly, phantom moon,.

    I see a sad procession, And I hear the sound of coming full-key'd bugles, All the channels of the city streets they're flooding,. I hear the great drums pounding, And the small drums steady whirring, And every blow of the great convulsive drums,.


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    For the son is brought with the father, In the foremost ranks of the fierce assault they fell, Two veterans son and father dropt together,. Now nearer blow the bugles, And the drums strike more convulsive, And the daylight o'er the pavement quite has faded,. And the strong dead-march enwraps me. In the eastern sky up-buoying, The sorrowful vast phantom moves illumin'd, 'Tis some mother's large transparent face,.

    O strong dead-march you please me! O moon immense with your silvery face you soothe me! O my soldiers twain! O my veterans passing to burial! The moon gives you light, And the bugles and the drums give you music, And my heart, O my soldiers, my veterans,. Oregonese, shall be friends triune, More precious to each other than all the riches of the. O lands! I hear the sounds of the different missiles, the short. Why rising by the roadside here, do you the colours. Are the things so strange and marvelous you see or. No more credulity's race, abiding-temper'd race, Race henceforth owning no law but the law of itself, Race of passion and the storm.

    I draw near, Bend down and touch lightly with my lips the white face. How I heard you flap and rustle, cloth defiant! Flag cerulean—sunny flag, with the orbs of night. Ah my silvery beauty—ah my woolly white and crimson! Ah to sing the song of you, my matron mighty! My sacred one, my mother. Did you find what I sang erewhile so hard to follow?

    Why I was not singing erewhile for you to follow, to. O cruel hands that hold me powerless—O helpless soul O harsh surrounding cloud that will not free my soul. And how shall I deck my song for the large sweet soul. And what shall my perfume be for the grave of him I. America, chant me the carol of victory, And strike up the marches of Libertad, marches more. Who are you that wanted only a book to join you in. If you would be freer than all that has been before, come. Columbia, Niagara, Hudson, spending themselves. Northeast, Northwest, Southwest, Manhattan firemen, the Yankee swap, southern planta-.

    But damn that which spends itself with no thought of the. States be fused into the compact organism of a. Equality, They live in the feelings of young men and the best. O the hard-contested fight! The cannons ope their rosy-flashing muzzles—the hurtled. The place is august, the terms obdurate. Have you consider'd the organic compact of the first day. Commissioners, ratified by the States, and read by.

    Washington at the head of the army? Have you possess'd yourself of the Federal Constitution? Do you see who have left all feudal processes and poems. Are you faithful to things? Are you not of some coterie? Have you vivified yourself from the maternity of these Have you too the old ever-fresh forbearance and. Do you hold the like love for those hardening to. Have you not imported this or the spirit of it in some Is it not a mere tale? Has it not dangled long at the heels of the poets,. Does it not assume that what is notoriously gone is. Does it answer universal needs?

    Does it sound with trumpet-voice the proud victory of. Can your performance face the open fields and the. Will it absorb into me as I absorb food, air, to appear. Have real employments contributed to it? What does it mean to American persons, progresses,. Chicago, Kanada, Arkansas? Does it see behind the apparent custodians the real. Does it see what finally befalls, and has always finally. What mocking and scornful negligence? The track strew'd with the dust of skeletons, By the roadside others disdainfully toss'd.

    Have I not through life kept you and yours before me? These States, what are they except myself? I launch'd you forth, Not to call even those lofty bards here by Ontario's. Yet bards of latent armies, a million soldiers waiting. Ample Ohio's, Kanada's bards—bards of California!

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    You by my charm I invoke. Ottawa, Some to Atlantica's bays, and so to the great salt brine. Out of the depths the storm's abysmic waves, who knows Raging over the vast, with many a broken spar and. Thou, bathed, choked, swimming in plenty, Thou lucky Mistress of the tranquil barns, Thou Prairie Dame that sittest in the middle and lookest. West, Dispensatress, that by a word givest a thousand miles,. Ask room alas the ghastly ranks, the armies dread that. Men and women crowding fast in the streets, if they are. That immortal house more than all the rows of dwellings. Or white-domed capitol with majestic figure surmounted,.

    Fair, fearful wreck—tenement of a soul—itself a soul, Unclaim'd, avoided house—take one breath from my. Is not every continent work'd over and over with.

    River of Stars: Selected Poems

    The grass of spring covers the prairies, The bean bursts noiselessly through the mould in the. I suspect I shall there find each old particular of those. O if one could but fly like a bird! O to escape, to sail forth as in a ship! Do you move in these broad lands as broad as they? Come duly to the divine power to speak words! I see brains and lips closed, tympans and temples. Do you not see how it would serve to have such a body. The towering feminine of thee? The mothers fit for thee? Yearning for thee harmonious Union!

    From these your future song may rise with joyous trills, Destin'd to fill the world. Orient, You undertone of rivers, roar of pouring cataracts, You sounds from distant guns with galloping cavalry, Echoes of camps with all the different bugle-calls, Trooping tumultuous, filling the midnight late, bending. Hearest those shouts of a conquering army?

    The lowing cattle, bleating. Arabs, Again, at Eleusis, home of Ceres, I see the modern. To you a new bard caroling in the West, Obeisant sends his love. Cathedral, Or, under the high roof of some colossal hall, the. Haydn, The Creation in billows of godhood laves me. Thee, Report myself once more to Thee. Thee, Light rare untellable, lighting the very light, Beyond all signs, descriptions, languages; For that O God, be it my latest word, here on my.

    Or with your mother and sisters? These also flow onward to others, you and I flow onward, But in due time you and I shall take less interest in. To think there will still be farms, profits, crops, yet for. The trees have, rooted in the ground! And all preparation is for it—and identity is for it—. And those appear that are hateful to me and mock me. I do not doubt that wrecks at sea, no matter what the. Space, but I believe Heavenly Death provides for. When shows break up what but One's-Self is sure? A huge sob—a few bubbles—the white foam squirting.

    Are souls drown'd and destroy'd so? Is only matter triumphant?

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    By thee fact to be justified, blended with thought, Thought of man justified, blended with God, Through thy idea, lo, the immortal reality! Through thy reality, lo, the immortal idea! By vision, hand, conception, on the background of the. I define thee, How can I pierce the impenetrable blank of the future? I feel thy ominous greatness evil as well as good, I watch thee advancing, absorbing the present, tran-.

    Across the Stars: Love Theme

    East, To thy immortal breasts, Mother of All, thy every. Freedom, Set in the sky of Law. Spiritual World! The Present holds thee not— for such vast growth as. South, O'er Mississippi's endless course, o'er Texas' grassy. O quick mettle, rich blood, impulse and love! O all dear to me! O dear to me my birth-things—all moving things and. I coast up the Carolinas, I see where the live-oak is growing, I see where the. O longings irrepressible! O I will go back to old.

    City of hurried and sparkling waters! How much of genius boldly staked and lost for it! What countless stores of beauty, love, ventur'd for it! How all superbest deeds since Time began are traceable. How all heroic martyrdoms to it! How, justified by it, the horrors, evils, battles of the. How the bright fascinating lambent flames of it, in every. O I think it is I—I think. I know what it is to receive the passionate love of. I do not believe any one possesses a more perfect or. Illinois, Ohio's, Indiana's millions, comrades, farmers, soldiers, all. O hasten flag of man—O with sure and steady step,.

    I see Freedom, completely arm'd and victorious and very. I see men marching and countermarching by swift. His daring foot is on land and sea everywhere, he. Are all nations communing? Is humanity forming en-masse? This incredible rush and heat, this strange ecstatic fever Your dreams O years, how they penetrate through me!

    I know not whether I sleep or wake; The perform'd America and Europe grow dim, retiring. My handsome tan-faced horsemen! Western States, or see freedom or spirituality, or. Aliaska, Of what the feuillage of America is the preparation for—. To be conscious of my body, so satisfied, so large!

    To be this incredible God I am! To have gone forth among other Gods, these men and. How the water sports and sings! Surely there is something more in each of the trees,. I take your strong chords, intersperse them, and cheer-. And little souvenirs of camps and soldiers, with my love, I bind together and bequeath in this bundle of songs. O air and soil! O my dead, an. I sung, and the songs of life and death, And the songs of birth, and shown that there are many.

    I announce the great individual, fluid as Nature, chaste,. Is there a single final farewell? To Foreign Lands. To Thee Old Cause. One's-self I Sing. In Paths Untrodden. As I Ponder'd in Silence. For You O Democracy. In Cabin'd Ships at Sea. These I Singing in Spring. To a Historian. Of the Terrible Doubt of. When I Read the Book. Beginning my Studies. The Base of all Meta-. Me Imperturbe. Recorders Ages Hence. The Ship Starting. When I heard at the close.

    I Hear America Singing. What Place is Besieged? Are You the new Person. Still Though the One I. Roots and Leaves them-. Shut not Your Doors. Poets to Come. I Saw in Louisiana a live-. To You. Thou Reader. To A Stranger. This moment yearning. Youth, Day, Old Age and. I hear it was charged. The Prairie-grass divid-. Song of the Universal. When I peruse the Con-. No Labour-saving Ma-. Myself and Mine. A Glimpse. With Antecedents. What think you I take. A Leaf for Hand in Hand. I Dream'd in a Dream. Out of the Cradle End-. Sometimes with one I.

    As I Ebb'd With the. To the East and to the. Ocean of Life. To the Man-of-War-Bird. Fast anchor'd eternal O. Aboard at a Ship's Helm. On the Beach at Night. Among the Multitude. The World Below the. O You whom I often and.

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    Silently Come. Full of Life Now. That Shadow my Like-. Song for all Seas, all. Patrolling Barnegat. After the Sea-Ship. Crossing Brooklyn Ferry. Song of the Answerer. A Song of Joys. A Boston Ballad. Song of the Broad-Axe. Song of the Redwood-. When I heard the Learn'd. O Life! An Army Corps on the.

    I Sit and Look Out. To Rich Givers. By the Bivouac's Fitful. The Dalliance of the. Come Up From the Fields. Roaming in Thought. A Farm Picture. Vigil Strange I Kept on. A Child's Amaze. The Runner. A March in the Ranks. Hard-Prest, and the. Road Unknown. Gliding O'er All. A Sight in Camp in the. Has Never Come to Thee. Daybreak grey and dim. As Toilsome I Wander'd.

    Beautiful Women. Virginia's Woods. Mother and Babe. Not the Pilot. Year that Trembled and. To Old Age. Reel'd Beneath Me. The Wound-Dresser. Long, too Long America. Give Me the Splendid. First O Songs for a. Silent Sun. Dirge For Two Veterans. Eighteen Sixty-one. Over the Carnage rose. Prophetic a Voice. From Paumanok Starting.

    I Saw Old General at. I Fly like a Bird. Song of the Banner at. The Artilleryman's Vision. Ethiopia Saluting the. Rise O Days from your. Fathomless Deeps. Not Youth Pertains to. Virginia—the West.

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    City of Ships. Race of Veterans. Cavalry Crossing a Ford. O Tan-faced Prairie-Boy. Bivouac on a Mountain. Look Down Fair Moon. How Solemn as One by. The City Dead-House. This Compost. As I Lay with My Head. To a Foil'd European. Delicate Cluster. Unnamed Lands. To a Certain Civilian. Song of Prudence. Lo, Victress on the Peaks. Warble for Lilac-Time. Spirit whose Work is. Adieu to a Soldier. Sparkles from the Wheel. Turn O Libertad.

    To A Pupil.