Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky

(1893-1930 / Russia)

An Extraordinary Adventure Which Happened To Me, Vladimir Mayakovsky, One Summer In The Country


A hundred suns the sunset fired,
into July summer shunted,
it was so hot,
even heat perspired-
it happened in the country.
The little hamlet known as Pushkino,
Akula's Mount
made hunchbacked.
Below, the village
seemed pushed-in so --
its crooked roof-crusts cracked.
And beyond that village
yawned a hole,
into that hole- and not just maybe -
the sun for certain always rolled,
slowly, surely, daily.
At morn
to flood the world
again
the sun rose up-
and ruddied it.
Day after day
it happened this way,
till I got
fed up with it.
And one day I let out such a shout,
that everything grew pale,
point-blank at the sun I yelled:
'Get out!
Enough of loafing there in hell!'
To the sun I yelled:
'You lazy mummer!
in the clouds cushioning,
while here - knowing neither winter nor summer,
I sit, just posters brushing!'
I yelled to the sun:
'Hey, wait there!
Listen, golden brightbrow,
instead of vainly
setting in the air,
have tea with me
right now!'
What have I done!
For ruin I'm heading!
To me,
of his own goodwill,
the sun himself,
ray-strides outspreading,
is marching over the hill.
Not wanting to show him I'm afraid-
back I retreat, guardedly.
Now his eyes lighten the garden shade.
He's actually in the garden now.
Through windows,
doors,
crannies he spread;
in flooded a sunny mass,
having burst in
he drew his breath,
and spoke in a deep bass.
'I've withheld my fires you see
the first time since creation began.
You've invited me?
So lay out the tea,
and, poet, lay on the jam!'
Tears from my poor eyes were streaming-
the heat really made me scary,
all the same-
I got the samovar steaming:
'Of course,
sit down, comrade luminary!'
What possessed me to shout at him like a fool,
inwardly myself I cursed, -
and sat confused
on the corner of a stool,
frightened it might be worse!
But a radiance strange
streamed from the sun, -
and my tact
no longer taxing,
I sit and chat with the luminated one,
gradually relaxing.
About this,
and about that I chatted,
worn out with ROSTA publicity,
but the sun:
'Alright,
don't get so rattled,
see things with greater simplicity!
You think it's easy
for me
to shine so?
- If so, come and have a test! -
But once you go -
why have a go
go - and shine your damnedest!'
We gossiped like that till darkness appeared,
till the night before, that is.
For how could there be any darkness here?
And now
like chums we chatted.
And soon,
in open friendship bonded,
to slap him on the back I dared.
And likewise the sun
warmly responded:
'Why, comrade, we're a pair!
Come, poet,
let us dawn
and sing
away the drabness of the universe.
As the sun, myself I'll fling,
and you - yourself,
in verse.'
And shadows' walls,
and jails of night
fell to its double-barreled shot.
Battering barrage of poetry and light -
shine out, no matter what!
And when the sun gets tired,
and night
wants to rest
its sleepy-headed,
why suddenly -
I shine with all my might -
and once more day is trumpeted.
Shine all the time,
for ever shine.
the last days' depths to plumb,
to shine - !
spite every hell combined!
So runs my slogan -
and the sun's!

Submitted: Thursday, September 02, 2010

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