Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky

(1893-1930 / Russia)

To His Beloved Self, The Author Dedicates These Lines - Poem by Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky

Some words.
Heavy as a blow.
'Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's- to God what is God's.'
And one
such as I,
where shall I squeeze in?
Where is my den?

If only I were
as the great Pacific -
I'd stand up on the waves' tiptoes
and caress the moon with my tides.
Where am I to find a beloved
equal to myself?
Such a woman has no place in the tiny heavens!

If only I were poor!
As a billionaire!
What's money to the soul?
There's an insatiable thief in mine.
All the gold in California couldn't feed
the unbridled horde of my desires.

If I could only be as tongue-tied
as Dante
or Petrarch!
Turn my soul's fire on one woman!
Make it smolder out in verse!
My words
and my love-
are a triumphal arch:
the beloveds of all ages
would pass through it gloriously,
without a trace.

If only I were
as thunder-
I would whimper
and, trembling, embrace earth's decrepit cloister.
If I outroar in an enormous voice
with all the power of thunder-
comets will wring their burning hands,
and fling themselves down in despair.

I would crack open nights with my eye's ray,
if only I were
dim as the sun!
I so need
to slake with my shining
the sunken bosom of the earth!

I will pass by,
dragging my giant-love.
In what
feverish night,
by what Goliaths was I conceived-
so big
and so useless?

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, September 2, 2010

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