Vladimir Mayakovsky 1916
Source: 20th Century Russian Literature.
Ponderous. The chimes of a clock.
“Render unto Caesar ... render unto God...”
someone like me to dock?
Where’11 I find a lair?
like the ocean of oceans 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? –
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!
and my love
form a triumphal arch:
through it, in all their splendour,
leaving no trace, will pass
the inamoratas of all the ages!
as quiet as thunder,
how I’d wail and whine!
One groan of mine
would start the world’s crumbling cloister shivering.
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 a fever.
If I were dim as the sun,
night I’d drill
with the rays of my eyes,
all by my lonesome,
build up the earth’s shriveled bosom.
On I’ll pass,
dragging my huge love behind me.
feverish night, deliria-ridden,
by what Goliaths was I begot –
I, so big
and by no one needed?