AG: So what was lost, or what was the energy that’s lost, it’ll be interesting to read, going back eight years earlier (from 1920) (to) the (Russian) Futurist Manifesto. I think that was the last thing (or one of the last things) I read in the last term’s class. Let’s see if I can find it.
Student: Yes, that was the last thing.
AG: Let me see if I can get it. It was called “A Slap In The Face of Public Taste”
Student: … Read More
AG: Another funny little poem, 1920, by (Osip) Mandelstam, who looked like this as a young man…[Allen shows photograph of Mandelstam] – Let’s see.. where am I? I’ve got these people mixed up. No, no…
Student: (Nikolay) Gumilev?
AG: (Osip) Mandelstam now. I’m interleaving them. (Mandelstam and Gumilev). This, being Mandelstam now as a young man
Student: Let’s see that picture.
AG: Very elegant, with big, big, satin cravat. Already Mandelstam had begun digging that it was going to be death to all the poets. Mandelstam himself died in a prison camp in … Read More
Шел я по улице незнакомой
И вдруг услышал вороний грай,
И звоны лютни, и дальние громы,
Передо мною летел трамвай.
Как я вскочил на его подножку,
Было загадкою для меня,
В воздухе огненную дорожку
Он оставлял и при свете дня.
Мчался он бурей темной, крылатой,
Он заблудился в бездне времен…
Остановите сейчас вагон.
Поздно. Уж мы обогнули стену,
Мы проскочили сквозь рощу пальм,
Через Неву, через Нил и Сену
Мы прогремели по трем мостам.
И, промелькнув у оконной рамы,
Бросил нам вслед
AG: The Stray Dog Café – There’s a little tiny footnote on it in a Russian literary quarterly, which also has translation of a poem by Anna Akhmatova of the (19)40’s,(19)50’s, and (19)60’s, which she compiled secretly, and was published outside of Russia, her major poem. “Poem Without A Hero”. – “The dog that she mentions is a vagabond dog, a bohemian St Petersburg cafe, decorated in part by Olga, Sergei Sudeikina‘s husband, habituated by most of the writers and the artists of the period, 1912-1915. Before the Revolution, it was named … Read More
AG: ..heroic style, loud-mouthed style, hot-air style, exaggeration style, post-Surrealist style, imaginative, hyperbole, rhetorical, ecstatic , inspired, open-mouthed, oratorical, oratory, dreamy, day-dreamy, fantastical, inspired – (meaning inspiration, meaning breath). Inspiration-exhalation-expiration. By “inspired”, I mean breath – the quality of breath, which is unobstructed breath, or that breath known when the body is a hollow reed and the mind is unobstructed and improvisation and images flow through the body without check and with abundance. Expansive imagination. It’s a state of body and a
Ann Charters: So we’d like to do a few more things before we end, and the poem which you have in your anthology, “At The Top of My Voice“, which was written a few months before the suicide, in January 1930.
AG: Should we have that in Russian first?
Ann Charters: Yeah
AG: You want me to read it in English first? – or do you want to do it in Russian first? Richard Poe has prepared the Russian.
Student (RP): Can I go first?
AG: Pardon me?
Student (RP): Can I go first?
AG: … Read More
AG: What did we have? What is the next thing we were going to do? Because I have an idea.
Ann Charters; Well, I was going to talk (next) about his (Mayakovsky‘s) work for the Party. I mean, what does a poet do who’s taken up by the Communist Party?
Ann Charters: Yeah?
AG: That’d be interesting, yeah.
Ann Charters: Interesting? No kidding! Very interesting! – I mean, before he kills himself, right?. In 1926.. okay, I’m skipping over the part where Mayakovsky has his trip to America, because we’re going to have a … Read More