Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky

(1893-1930 / Russia)

Past One O'Clock


1

She loves me-loves me not.
My hands I pick
and having broken my fingers
fling away.
So the first daisy-heads
one happens to flick
are plucked,
and guessing,
scattered into May.
Let a cut and shave
reveal my grey hairs.
Let the silver of the years
ring out endlessly !
Shameful common sense -
I hope, I swear -
Will never come
to me.

2

It's already two.
No doubt, you've gone to sleep.
In the night
The Milky Way
with silver filigrees.
I don't hurry,
and there is no point in me
waking and disturbing you
with express telegrams.

3

The sea goes to weep.
The sea goes to sleep.
As they say,
the incident has petered out.
The love boat of life
has crashed on philistine reefs
You and I
are quits.
No need to reiterate
mutual injuries,
troubles
and griefs.

4

D'you see,
In the world what a quiet sleeps.
Night tributes the sky
with silver constellations.
In such an hour as this,
one rises and speaks
to eras,
history,
and world creation.

5

I know the power of words, I know words' tocsin.
They're not the kind applauded by the boxes.
From words like these coffins burst from the earth
and on their own four oaken legs stride forth.
It happens they reject you, unpublished, unprinted.
But saddle-girths tightening words gallop ahead.
See how the centuries ring and trains crawl
to lick poetry's calloused hands.
I know the power of words. Seeming trifles that fall
like petals beneath the heel-taps of dance.
But man with his soul, his lips, his bones.

Submitted: Thursday, September 02, 2010

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