Back to Andrey Kneller's Artist PageTo the Artist's Page                   Back to the Unlikely Stories home pageTo our home page
A Cloud in TrousersTo Andrey Kneller's previous piece     To Part ITo Part I

The Backbone Flute
by Vladimir Mayakovsky
translated from the Russian by Andrey Kneller


For all of you,
Whom I've admired or still am admiring,
Hidden like icons in the cave of the soul,
Like a goblet of wine at a festive gathering,
I shall raise my heavy, verse-brimming skull.

More and more often, I'm wondering-
Why shouldn't I place
The period of a bullet at the end of my stanza?
Just in case,
I am giving my final, farewell concert.

Gather into the brain's auditorium
The bottomless lines of those who are dear to me.
From eye to eye, pour mirth into all of them.
Light up the night with the by-gone festivity.
From body to body, pour the joyous mood.
Let no man forget this night.
Listen to me, I will play the flute.
On my backbone tonight.

To the top of this pageTo the top of this page     To Andrey Kneller's notesTo the translator's notes