Saturday Night Poetry: Mayakovsky, ‘Past one o’clock’

Back in the day, I ran a political blog. It was fun for a while, but then I got tired of it and eventually started a new blog, this fabulous one you’re reading right now. On my old blog, I ran a feature every Saturday called Saturday Night Poetry. I like poetry, especially from random foreign poets, so I’ve decided to restart this feature. Tonight’s poet is Vladimir Mayakovsky, a poet who supported the Bolshevik Revolution, then became disillusioned and committed suicide. Part of this poem was at the end of his suicide note.

Past one o’clock. You must have gone to bed.
The Milky Way streams silver through the night.
I’m in no hurry; with lightning telegrams
I have no cause to wake or trouble you.
And, as they say, the incident is closed.
Love’s boat has smashed against the daily grind.
Now you and I are quits. Why bother then
To balance mutual sorrows, pains, and hurts.
Behold what quiet settles on the world.
Night wraps the sky in tribute from the stars.
In hours like these, one rises to address
The ages, history, and all creation.

(English translation from here.)


In the original Russian:

Уже второй. Должно быть, ты легла.
В ночи Млечпуть серебряной Окою.
Я не спешу, и молниями телеграмм
мне незачем тебя будить и беспокоить.
Как говорят, инцидент исперчен.
Любовная лодка разбилась о быт.
С тобой мы в расчете. И не к чему перечень
взаимных болей, бед и обид.
Ты посмотри, какая в мире тишь.
Ночь обложила небо звездной данью.
В такие вот часы встаешь и говоришь
векам, истории и мирозданью.

(Источник)

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