Extended Poetics – (More Khlebnikov – 1 – Incantation By Laughter)

Сурет:Khlebnikov 1908.jpg

Velimir Khlebnikov (1885-1922),  in 1908, aged 23

AG: Now I would like to go back to 1908, a few years before that, to (Velimir) Khlebnikov, who was, for Russian Futurism, the great master of all these mad forms and breakthroughs. We had a little bit of Khlebnikov before, since, actually, you might say, after (Arthur) Rimbaud, he may be the first modern poet. I don’t know who influenced who  – there were the Italian Futurists with (Filippo) Marinetti and there were (the) Russian Futurists, Khlebnikov and (Vladimir) Mayakovsky – and the Russians began their outrageous poetry (in) 1905, (19)o7, (19)08, (19)09, 1910. The Italian Futurists had similar experiments around the same time.

Is Richard Poe here?

Student: Yes, he is

AG: Ah.. Richard..  would it be possible to do… do we have the…”Incantation by Laughter” still? Mr Poe? Is that around? What book was it in? The Russian? – Ah, it was in the other one.. Okay. Maybe we can get that next time.  There are various translations of it here, but the earliest and most famous war-horse piece of that kind is – 1908 – “Incantation by Laughter“, by Velimir Khlebnikov, 1885-1922:

O laugh it out, you laughsters!/O laugh it up, you laughsters/So they laugh with laughters, so they laugherize delaughly,/O laugh it up belaughably!/O the laughingstock of laughed-upon — the laugh of Belaughed laughsters /O laugh it out roundlaughingly, the laugh of the laughed-at Laughians!/Laugherino, laugherino,/Laughify laughicate, laugholets, laugholets,/Laughikins, laughikins,/O laugh it out, you laughsters/O laugh it up, you laughsters!” –
or, “O guff it out you guffsters/O guff it up, you guffsters” – or, “O gig it out, you gigglers!”,  “O chuck it out, you chucklers”, “O chort it out, you chortlers” – or.. various translations.

Заклятие смехом

О, рассмейтесь, смехачи!
О, засмейтесь, смехачи!
Что смеются смехами, что смеянствуют смеяльно,
О, засмейтесь усмеяльно!
О, рассмешищ надсмеяльных — смех усмейных смехачей!
О, иссмейся рассмеяльно, смех надсмейных смеячей!
Смейево, смейево!
смей, осмей, смешики, смешики!
Смеюнчики, смеюнчики.
О, рассмейтесь, смехачи!
О, засмейтесь, смехачи!

Velimir Khlebnikov’s “Incantation by Laughter” (Заклятие смехом) read in both the original Russian (by Ian Probstein) and in his own English translation (by Charles Bernstein)

And later, let’s see, what else of that era, of that time?. He made experiments in sound poetry – that was his speciality. This is perfect for Russia:

“We incant and recant./There incanting, here recanting,/ Now recanter, now in cantor,/Here recants, there incantist./ From recantate peers incantate./They’re recantards, there incantards./And infantries! And recantries!/And recanters! And incantlers!/And incantments and recantments./Keep recanting and incanting.” – (Changing your mind) – “We invoke and revoke/There invoking, here revoking/ Now revoker, now invoker,/Here revokeman, there invokeman./From relocate peers invocate./There’re revocards, there’re invocards./And invocries! And revocries!/And revoclers! And invoclers!/And invokements and revokements./Keep revoking and invoking.”
– Or – “We appeal and repeal..”, etc. – Or “We attract and retract..”, “We allure and conjure..” –  One or the other.

Earlier is
“Bo-be-o-bee sang the mouth/ Ve-e-o-mee sang the orbs/Pee-e-e-o sang the brows/
Lee-e-e-ey sang the aspect/Gzee-gzee-gze-o sang the chain.Thus on a canvas of the would-be connections/In another dimension there lived the Face.”

[Audio for the above may be heard here, beginning at the start and through to approximately four-and-three-quarter minutes in – and also here

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