sunset at crystal cove (b/w)
So one day I went mad,
Turned absolutely white with passion:
I yelled right out at the sun:
"Come down!
You've gadded long enough in that blazing fashion!"
I yelled at the sun:
"You lazy clown,
Up there in the clouds you're in clover;
Here I sit painting posters night and day
And my work is never over."

(vladimir mayakovsky, v. de s. pinto trans., 1948)

And flying into such a rage one day
that all things paled with fear,
I yelled at the sun point-blank:
“Get down!
Stop crawling into that hellhole!”
At the sun I yelled:
“You shiftless lump!
You’re caressed by the clouds,
while here—winter and summer—
I must sit and draw these posters!”

(vladimir mayakovsky, george reavey trans., 1960)


Uncle paul said...

Thanks for the parallax in the translations: with Russians you just never know. I'd hope that at least he got some satisfaction out of having designed this: http://caeran.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/plakat_mayakowski_gross.jpg

kidchamp said...

romulus, now - we can be sure of that english. for how long has it been under your hat?

Uncle paul said...

Idea came in August, when I was walking around Rome with J. and all the inscriptions seemed to be demanding things of me. Then it got submerged for eight months, because I guess we all have a demanding ladymag in our lives, but it turns out these are hardy babies: you can stick them in the bathtub and they won't drown.

Thank you!