More and more often, I’m wondering-Why shouldn’t I placeThe period of a bullet at the end of my stanza?Today,Just in case,I am giving my final, farewell concert. —Vladimir Mayakovsky, from “The Backbone Flute: Prologue.” Backbone Flute: Selected Poetry . Translated by Andrey Kneller. (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform April 18, 2008)
If you want,I’ll go meat-mad– and, like the sky, its hues changing –If you want,I’ll be irreproachably tender,not a man, but – a cloud in trousers! —Vladimir Mayakovsky, from “A Cloud in Trousers,” Night Wraps the Sky: Writings by and about Mayakovsky. (Farrar, Straus and Giroux; First Edition – First Printing edition April 1, 2008)… Continue reading Vladimir Mayakovsky
Listen,if stars are litit means – there is someone who needs it.It means – someone wants them to be,that someone deems those specks of spitmagnificent. — Vladimir Mayakovsky, from “Listen!,” Listen! Early Poems. (City Lights Publishers; 1st City Lights Books ed edition January 1, 2001) Originally published 1987.
Lilichka! (Instead of a Letter) Tobacco smoke eats the air away.The room,— a chapter from Kruchenykh’s Inferno.Recall,— by the window, that day, I caressed you ecstatically, with fervor.Here you sit now, with your heart in iron armor.In a day, you’ll scold me perhaps and tell me to leave. Frenzied, my trembling arm in a gloomy… Continue reading Vladimir Mayakovsky
Tomorrow you’ll forgetthat I have crowned you,that I burned my flowering soul with love,and the whirling carnival of trivial dayswill ruffle the pages of my books…Would the dry leaves of my wordsforce you to a stopgasping for air?At least let mepave with a parting endearmentyour retreating path. — Vladimir Mayakovsky, from “Lilichka! (Instead of a… Continue reading Vladimir Mayakovsky
There’s less and less love,and less and less daring,and timeis a battering ramagainst my head. — Vladimir Mayakovsky, from “Conversation With a Tax Collector About Poetry,” The Bedbug and Selected Poetry. (Indiana University Press October 22, 1975) Originally published 1929.
Talk nonsense, but talk your own nonsense, and I’ll kiss you for it. — Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment. (Everyman’s Library; 12th edition May 25, 1993) Originally published 1866.
Be not comforted. Consolation is not what you need. Weep and be not consoled, but weep. — Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov. (Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 12th edition June 14, 2002) Originally published November 1880.
Why is it that when you awake to the world of realities you nearly always feel, sometimes very vividly, that the vanished dream has carried with it some enigma which you have failed to solve? — Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Idiot. (Modern Library; New edition edition, April 8, 2003) Originally published 1869,
I love you, and loving you I torment you. — Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov. (Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 12th edition June 14, 2002) Originally published November 1880.