Oh, but she had been so pretty in the weaving of those delicate spells, in the dreamy performance of her enchantments… — Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita. (Olympia Press 1955)
More and more often, I’m wondering- Why shouldn’t I place The 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)
Listen, 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 magnificent. —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… Continue reading Vladimir Mayakovsky
Tomorrow you’ll forget that I have crowned you, that I burned my flowering soul with love, and the whirling carnival of trivial days will ruffle the pages of my books… Would the dry leaves of my words force you to a stop gasping for air? At least let me pave with a parting endearment your… Continue reading Vladimir Mayakovsky
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… Continue reading Vladimir Mayakovsky
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.… Continue reading Vladimir Mayakovsky