Sunday, December 30, 2012

Vladimir Mayakovsky - Last Poem



* * *  
Past one o’clock you're probably in bed
The Milky Way is like Oka of silver
No need for me to rush I have no reasons left
to stir you with the lightnings of my cable fever
And so they say the incident dissolved*
the love boat smashed up on the dreary routine
We’re even there’s no use in keeping the score 
of mutual hurts affliction and spleen
Look here the world exudes an eerie calm
The night demands tribute in constellations
in hours like these I’d like to be the one
with ages history and the creation

1930

Translated by Dina Belyayeva

The translation does not include punctuation per
Maaykovsky's original (scroll to IV)

 *Mayakovsky purposefully used a non-idiomatic expression to point out that "the  incident" was not "resolved" by anyone, but rather it was broken down by unfortunate circumstances. To indicate that he came up with a novel word in Russian (исперчен), which is a blend of “spoiled” (испорчен) and “peppered” (перчен). The English word “dissolved” is used here to render Mayakovsky’s intention albeit partially.
Mayakovsky's suicide note from April 12, 1930 read in part:

             And so they say,

             "the incident dissolved"
             the love boat smashed up
             on the dreary routine.
             I'm through with live
             and [we] should absolve
             from mutual hurts, affliction and spleen.

It was written two days before he shot himself on April 14th, 1930.


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