You (Ты), Vladimir Mayakovsky


I have my doubts about this… Mayakovsky is less cryptic here than he often is – though he’s quite cryptic enough. I’ve followed his syllable count and irregular metre – doing so at least goes some way to reproducing the poem’s physical form, which was an important concern for Mayakovsky.

You came –
in a frenzy,
because I
was screaming.
You looked
and saw I was a little boy.
My heart
you then snatched, extracted
it. Simply
you toyed with it,
a girl with a bouncing ball.
And all of them,
whether woman, whether girl,
faced marvel and started
to seek an answer.
“Love someone like him?
Be ready for him to leap!
It’d be an idea to be
a tamer to calm him!”
And I rejoiced. It
wasn’t here,
this yoke!
Beside myself with joy I galloped,
I jumped
as if at Indian wedding feast,
and all was so jolly
and easy for me.


Пришла –
за рыком,
за ростом,
разглядела просто мальчика.
отобрала сердце
и просто
пошла играть –
как девочка мячиком.
И каждая –
чудо будто видится –
где дама вкопалась,
а где девица.
“Такого любить?
Да этакий ринется!
Должно, укротительница.
Должно, из зверинца!”
А я ликую.
Нет его –
От радости себя не помня,
индейцем свадебным прыгал,
так было весело,
было легко мне.

Translation by Rupert Moreton

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