July 19 (Mayakovsky’s Birthday)

[Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893-1930)]

Today, July 19, the great poet, Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky, was born in Baghdati, Georgia. We’ve featured Mayakovsky numerous times here on the Allen Ginsberg Project. For example, here and here.

The fourteen-part series, Allen’s 1981 focus (with in-class presentation by Ann Charters)  begins here, and continues  here, here and here  (Expansive Poetry) .

Further posts  here (Akhmatova and Mayakovsky), here (Mayakovsky on Esenin), here (Mayakovsky and Mandelstam), here (“The Bedbug”), here (“At The Top of My Voice“), here (Mayakovsky and the Revolution), here (Mayakovsky and … Read More

Expansive Poetics – 50 (Mayakovsky on Esenin)

File:Esenin Moscow 1922.jpg    

[Sergei Esenin (1895-1925)]

AG (to Ann Charters): I did want to interject this (Sergei) Esenin thing, because in that there’s also [as with Akhmatova’s “Requiem] a reference to the bronze-lidded statue Ann Charters: Yeah AG: So they’re all.. This is Mayakovsky’s elegy on the suicide of Esenin,  Mayakovsky’s comment on Esenin’s suicide Ann Charters: This is 1925 AG: (19)25, probably. Esenin, as you remember, his last line, written in blood, is “In this life, to die is nothing new. But, of course to live is nothing new either” – “In this life, to die … Read More

Expansive Poetics – 49 (Akhmatova & Mayakovsky)

[Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966), in 1924, aged 35]

June 9 1981 – Allen Ginsberg’s Expansive Poetics class continues at Naropa Institute. On this day, Ann Charters, who, two years earlier, in collaboration with her husband Sam, had published I Love – The Story of Vladimir Mayakovsky and Lili Brik, is the class’s special guest. The emphasis therefore is on Mayakovsky and twentieth-century Russian literature.

AG: ….in the Russian section…  (Anna) Akhmatova  is after (Nikolay) Gumilev (1886-1921) [in the Expansive Poetics Anthology] , a poem called “Requiem”.  Okay? Everybody got it?
Student: That’s the very first poem in … Read More