No Comment — November 26, 2007, 12:07 am

Mayakovsky’s ‘To his own beloved self the author dedicates these lines’

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Four.
Ponderous. The chimes of a clock.
“Render unto Ceasar… render unto God…”
But where’s
someone like me to dock?
Where to find waiting – a lair?
Were I
like the ocean of ocean little,
on the tiptoes of waves I’d rise,
I’d strain, a tide, to caress the moon.
Where to find someone to love
of my size,
the sky too small for her to fit in?
Were I poor
as a multimillionaire,
it’d still be tough.
What’s money for the soul? –
The insatiable.
The gold
of all the Californias isn’t enough
for my desires’ riotous horde.
I wish I were tongue-tied,
like Dante
or Petrarch,
able to fire a woman’s heart,
reduce it to ashes with verse-filled pages!
My words
and my love
form a triumphal arch:
through it in all their splendour,
leaving no trace, will pass
the inamoratas of all the ages.
Were I
As quiet as thunder,
how I’d wail and whine!
One groan of mine
would start world’s crumbling cloister shivering.
And if
I’d end up by roaring
with all of its power of lungs and more -
the comets, distressed, would wring their hands
and from the sky’s roof leap in fever.
If I were dim as the sun,
night I’d drill
with the rays of my eyes,
and also
all by my lonesome,
radiant self
build up the earth’s shivering bosom.
On I’ll pass,
dragging my huge love behind me.
On what feverish night, delirium-ridden,
by what Goliaths was I begot -
I, so large
and so unneeded?

Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky, To His Own Beloved Self The
Author Dedicates These Lines
(????, ????????, ?????????
??? ?????? ?????
) (1916)(I. Zheleznova transl. with modifications by S.H.)

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