Friday, May 25, 2007

Poetry Friday: Vladimir Mayakovsky

Today's Poetry Friday entry comes from another of my favorite Russian poets, Vladimir Maykovsky. This particular poem was first published in 1913.

But Could You?

I blurred at once the map of humdrum,
by splashing colours like a potion;
I showed upon the dish of jelly
the slanted cheekbones of the ocean.

Upon the scales of metal fishes
I read the new lips’ attitude.
But could you
perform a nocturne
Just playing on a drainpipe flute?

Translated by Dmitri Smirnov. Licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

You can hear the poem in Russian read by Mayakovsky himself here. (There is also a more literal translation of the poem on this page.)
Today's Poetry Friday roundup can be found at A Wrung Sponge (now with technological improvements).