Vladimir Mayakovsky

Poem: Love

My university




Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky (1893 – 1930)

was a Russian Soviet poet, playwright, artist, and actor. During his early, pre-Revolution period leading into 1917, Mayakovsky became renowned as a prominent figure of the Russian Futurist movement, being among the signers of the Futurist manifesto, “A Slap in the Face of Public Taste” (1913), and authoring poems such as “A Cloud in Trousers” (1915) and “Backbone Flute” (1916). (wikipedia).



My university



French language you know.
You divide.
You multiply.
You decline beautifully.
So go on declining!

But tell me one thing
Can you jam
with a building?
Do you know the language of trams?

The human fledgling
is barely hatched
and you thrust in its hands
exercise notebooks.

But I learned the alphabet from street signs,
turning pages of iron and tin.


They take the world,
spin it
with fingertips 
and teach you.
It’s all just a puny globe.

But I
learned geography with my ribs 
lying on the earth
on roofless nights.

Painful questions torment your dusty historians:
“Was Barbarossa’s beard really red?”
So what?
You call this dusty trash history,
but I know every story Moscow can tell!
You take Dobroliubov
as a lesson to hate evil
but the surname resists
and whimpers with pain.

From childhood
I’ve hated the fat ones,
who sell themselves
for lunch every day.

They learned
to sit pretty
to make ladies smile,
and thoughts rattle in their heads like coins.

But I
only with buildings.
Water towers told me secrets
and roofs caught every word I threw
in their latticed window ears.

And after
they babbled
about the night
and each other night
with weathercock tongues.



Vladimir Mayakovsky – poem: Love – My university



Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky



A Cloud in Trousers (Облако в штанах, 1915)
Backbone Flute (Флейта-позвоночник, 1915)
The War and the World (Война и мир, 1917)
The Man (Человек, 1918)
150 000 000 (1921)

Love (1922)
About That (Про это, Pro Eto, 1923)
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (Владимир Ильич Ленин, 1924)
A Flying Proletarian (Летающий пролетарий, 1925)
All Right! (Хорошо!, 1927).


Poem cycles and collections


The Early Ones (Первое, 1912–1924, 22 poems)
I (Я, 1914, 4 poems)
Satires. 1913–1927 (23 poems, including “Take That!”, 1914)
The War (Война, 1914–1916, 8 poems)
Lyrics (Лирика, 1916, Лирика, 1916, 3 poems)
Revolution (Революция, 1917–1928, 22 poems, including “Ode to Revolution”, 1918; “The Left March”, 1919)
Everyday Life (Быт, 1921–1924, 11 poems, including “On Rubbish”, 1921, “Re Conferences”, 1922)
The Art of the Commune (Искусство коммуны, 1918–1923, 11 poems, including “An Order to the Army of Arts”, 1918)
Agitpoems (Агитпоэмы, 1923, 6 poems, including “The Mayakovsky Gallery”)
The West (Запад, 1922–1925, 10 poems, including “How Does the Democratic Republic Work?”, and the 8-poem Paris cycle)
The American Poems (Стихи об Америке, 1925–1926, 21 poems, including “The Brooklyn Bridge”)
On Poetry (О поэзии, 1926, 7 poems, including “Talking with the Taxman About Poetry”, “For Sergey Yesenin”)
The Satires. 1926 (Сатира, 1926. 14 poems)
Lyrics. 1918–1924 (Лирика. 12 poems, including “I Love”, 1922)
Publicism (Публицистика, 1926, 12 poems, including “To Comrade Nette, a Steamboat and a Man”, 1926)
The Children’s Room (Детская, 1925–1929. 9 poems for children, including “What Is Good and What Is Bad”)
Poems. 1927–1928 (56 poems, including “Lenin With Us!”)
Satires. 1928 (Сатира. 1928, 9 poems)
Cultural Revolution (Культурная революция, 1927–1928, 20 poems, including “Beer and Socialism”)
Agit…(Агит…, 1928, 44 poems, including “‘Yid'”)
Roads (Дороги, 1928, 11 poems)
The First of Five (Первый из пяти, 1925, 26 poems)
Back and Forth (Туда и обратно, 1928–1930, 19 poems, including “The Poem of the Soviet Passport”)
Formidable Laughter (Грозный смех, 1922–1930; more than 100 poems, published posthumously, 1932–1936)
Poems, 1924–1930 (Стихотворения. 1924–1930, including “A Letter to Comrade Kostrov on the Essence of Love”, 1929)
Whom Shall I Become? (Кем Быть, Kem byt’?, published posthumously 1931, poem for children, illustrated by N. A. Shifrin).




Vladimir Mayakovsky (Владимир Маяковский. Subtitled: Tragedy, 1914)
Mystery-Bouffe (Мистерия-Буфф, 1918)
The Bedbug (Клоп, 1929)
The Bathhouse (Баня. 1930)
Moscow Burns. 1905 (Москва горит. 1905, 1930)

(from: wikipedia)


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