“God, rest his soul, your rival”
M. Tsvetaeva. To Mayakovsky
A Russian poet, playwriter, artist and maestro of advertising slogans Vladimir Mayakovsky was born on July 7 (19) 1893 in in Baghdati, Kutaisi Governorate. His father descended from the ennobled Ukrainian Cossacks, his mother (nee Pavlenko) descended from the Kuban Cossacks.
“My grandfather was a Cossack,
The other was a Cossack of the Zaporozhian Sich,
And I am a Georgian by birthplace”.
V. Mayakovsky. To our young folks
Mayakovsky studied at the Stroganovka, Moscow school for art, sculpture and architecture.
In the end of 1907 – beginning of 1908 Mayakovsky became a member of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. As a young Bolshevik activist, Mayakovsky distributed propaganda leaflets and this resulted in series of arrests.
Later he left the party, but remained to stick to the revolutionary ideas in his works and life. Having a “hatred for the art of yesterday..”, during his creative process he created an organization of futurists, focusing on the art of future (from the English “future”), and a group LEF (Left Art Front).
From a rostrum Mayakovsky appealed to fight against a religious backwardness. Finally, he committed suicide, a heavy sin.
“A shot right in the soul
As it was fired at rivals
The last temple was ruined
By a theomachist“.
“My revolution”, – the poet said about the events of October 1917. Mayakovsky accepted the changes and claimed: “It is necessary to hail the new authority and contact it”. He was one of the fundamental poets of the Soviet periods, and his proletarian poems entered the school curriculum. The most apologetic works were the poems “Vladimir Ilyich Lenin” (1924) and “Horosho”. The poet’s later poems “The Bedbug” (1928) and “The Bathhouse” (1929) showed more disappointment in the changes in society.
Concurrently, a complex and unsettled life of Maykovsky came into its final, tragic phase.
“The sea flows back
The sea goes to sleep
And, as they say, the incident is closed.
Love’s boat has smashed against the daily grind
Now you and I are quits.
Why bother then
To balance mutual sorrows, pains, and hurts.”
Mayakovsky. Aloud and Straight
Iskrzhitskaya I.Y. V.V. Mayakovsky.//Russian literature of XIX-XX centuries. Book 2. – Moscow, Mir philologii, 1998., Mayakovsky museum.