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Selected Poems

Translated from the Russian by James H. McGavran III

Publication Year: 2013

James McGavran’s new translation of Vladimir Maya­kovsky’s poetry is the first to fully capture the Futurist and Soviet agitprop artist’s voice. Because of his work as a propagandist for the Soviet regime, and because of his posthumous enshrinement by Stalin as “the best and most talented poet of our Soviet epoch,” Mayakovsky has most often been interpreted—and translated—within a political context. McGavran’s translations reveal a more nuanced poet who possessed a passion for word creation and lin­guistic manipulation. Mayakovsky’s bombastic metaphors and formal élan shine through in these translations, and McGavran’s commentary provides vital information on Mayakovsky, illuminating the poet’s many references to the Russian literary canon, his contemporaries in art and culture, and Soviet figures and policies.

Published by: Northwestern University Press

Cover

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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 2-5

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

Much of my work on this collection was completed when I was a Mellon postdoctoral fellow in Russian at Kenyon College, and I am grateful to the Mellon Foundation and the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Kenyon for this opportunity. ...

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Introduction

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pp. ix-xxvi

Vladimir Mayakovsky was first and foremost a poet, to hear him tell it (see the opening words of his autobiography, “I Myself”), but his life and career choices would make it difficult for readers and critics to remain focused on that primary and primal vocation. ...

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About This Edition

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pp. xxvii-xxx

Translating Mayakovsky is a daunting task. The traditional impossibility of verse translation—maintaining poetic form and semantic content—is compounded in his case by Mayakovsky’s penchant for word creation and highly unusual, at times ambiguous, grammar. ...

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I Myself

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pp. 3-30

I’m a poet. That’s what makes me interesting. So that’s what I’m writing about. As for all the other stuff—only if it’s settled down in words. ...

The Early Years: 1912–1916

Night

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pp. 33-64

Morning

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pp. 34-35

From Street to Street

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pp. 36-37

Could You?

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pp. 38-69

Me

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pp. 39-42

Love

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pp. 43-74

We

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pp. 44-75

The Giant Hell of the City

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pp. 45-76

Take That!

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pp. 46-77

They Don’t Understand Anything

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pp. 47-78

In a Motorcar

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pp. 48-79

The Fop’s Blouse

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pp. 49-80

Listen Up!

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pp. 50-51

But Be That as It May

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pp. 52-83

Petersburg Again

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pp. 53-84

Mama and the Evening Killed by the Germans

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pp. 54-55

Violin and a Bit Nervously

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pp. 56-57

That’s How I Became a Dog

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pp. 58-59

Lilichka! In Place of a Letter

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pp. 60-62

To His Beloved Self the Author DedicatesThese Lines

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pp. 63-64

The Years of Upheaval 1917–1920

Our March

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pp. 67-98

Being Good to Horses

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pp. 68-69

Ode to the Revolution

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pp. 70-71

An Order to the Army of Art

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pp. 72-73

It’s Too Early to Rejoice

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pp. 74-75

The Poet Worker

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pp. 76-77

An Extraordinary Adventure . . .

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pp. 78-82

The Soviet Years 1922–1930

All Meetinged Out

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pp. 85-87

Schematic of Laughter

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pp. 88-89

Jubilee

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pp. 90-100

Tamara and the Demon

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pp. 101-106

A Farewell

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pp. 107-138

Shallow Philosophy over the Depths

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pp. 108-110

Broadway

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pp. 111-114

The Brooklyn Bridge

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pp. 115-120

To Sergei Yesenin

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pp. 121-127

Conversation with a Taxman About Poetry

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pp. 128-137

A Letter to Tatiana Yakovlev

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pp. 138-141

Lines on a Soviet Passport

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pp. 142-145

At the Top of My Voice

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pp. 146-153

Unfinished Lyrics

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pp. 154-185

The Suicide Note

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pp. 155-156

Selected Long Poems

The Cloud in Pants

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pp. 159-184

The Backbone Flute

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pp. 185-195

150,000,000

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pp. 196-247

I Love

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pp. 248-258

The Flying Proletarian

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pp. 259-318

Notes

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pp. 319-372

Bibliography

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pp. 373-374


E-ISBN-13: 9780810166578
E-ISBN-10: 0810166577
Print-ISBN-13: 9780810129078
Print-ISBN-10: 0810129078

Page Count: 404
Publication Year: 2013

Edition: 1
Volume Title: 1
Series Title: Northwestern World Classics

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Subject Headings

  • Mayakovsky, Vladimir, 1893-1930 -- Translations into English.
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