Vladimir Mayakovsky was the pre-eminent poet of the Russian Revolution and its immediate aftermath. Revolutionary in temperament -- both in art and in politics -- he was drawn to exploring new forms, taking new poetic postures, and building links between art and politics.
Mayakovsky was one of the small handful of artists, along with Baudelaire and Apollinaire, who defined what the avant-garde could be: experimental, transgressive, over the top at times. His energy is unparalleled, his exploraiton of new forms seldom matched. Because he wrote for a mass audience -- he was a hero to the Russian people during and after the Russian Revolution -- his poetry is accessible in a way that many other 'modern' poets are not. By turns introspective, witty, fantastical, self-dramatizing, satiric and hilarious, Mayakovsky is a pleasure to read, and one of the great 'undiscovered' poets, though he is undiscovered only by English-speaking readers.
In the RealAudio
presentation which follows, you will encounter Maykovsky's poems:
How I Became a Dog
On Being Kind to Horses
Order Number Two to the Army of the Arts
In Re: Conferences
An Extraordinary Adventure Which Befell Vladimir Mayakovsky in a Summer Cottage
The Cloud in Trousers (sections of Parts I and IV)
At the Top of My Voice (excerpts)
It's Already Past One
To listen to the presentation, click on this photo of Myakovsky
Mayakovksy and His Circle, including poems in Russian and English
Brief introduction and biography
Mayakovsky: background and links and several poems
Background and bibliography
Strange page on The Bedbug
The Cloud in Trousers, in English
Biography and the art exhibit cited below
A page listing Myakovsky books in English, and where to buy them
A link to this page -- for no particular reason, since you are on it
To hear Mayakovsky read, in Russian, click on the Vladmir Mayakovsky entry on this page (Great even if you know no Russian)
All the photographs are from a featured exhibition of Howard Schickler Fine Art, which you can view at: http://photoarts.com/schickler/exhibits/mayakovsky/index.html.