Vladimir Mayackovsky, 1925?


I memorized 'Could you?' during my middle school years. This poem spoke to me. As an avid day-dreamer who often wandered away while in the class, I often contemplated vivid futuristic pictures and sounds in my mind. Learn about Vlad Mayakovsky here. I hope you too will discover the coarse and scandalous houligan Mayakovsky as a genius of rhyme and rhythm through my translation.

Translation by Svetlana Gulotta

Could You?


I messed the map of my work-day
By spilling colors into view;
I cast the ocean’s jawed ways
In my plate’s cold and jellied stew.
In shiny scales of a fish
I saw new lips speak up a wish.
But you...
Could you
Perform nocturne
On a rusted gutter’s flute?

2021

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