Vladimir Mayakovsky Poems

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Vladimir Mayakovsky
Vladimirovich Mayakovsky (July 19 [O.S. July 7] 1893 April 14, 1930) was a Russian poet and playwright, among the foremost representatives of early-20th century Russian Futurism. He was born the last of three children in Baghdati, Georgia where his father worked as a forest ranger. His father was of Cossack and Russian descent while his mother was of Ukrainian descent. Although Mayakovsky spoke Georgian at school and with friends, his family spoke primarily Russian at home. At the age of 14 Mayakovsky took part in socialist demonstrations at the town of Kutaisi, where he attended the local grammar school. After the sudden and premature death of his father in 1906, the family Mayakovsky, his mother, and his two sisters moved to Moscow, where he attended School No. 5. In Moscow, Mayakovsky developed a passion for Marxist literature and took part in numerous activities of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party; he was to later become an RSDLP (Bolshevik) member. In 1908, he was dismissed from the Grammar School because his mother was no longer able to afford the tuition fees. Around this time, Mayakovsky was imprisoned on three occasions for subversive political activities, but being underage, he avoided transportation. During a period of solitary confinement in Butyrka prison in 1909, he began to write poetry, but his poems were confiscated. On his release from prison, he continued working within the socialist movement, and in 1911 he joined the Moscow Art School where he became acquainted with members of the Russian Futurist movement. He became a leading spokesman for the group Gileas, and a close friend of David Burlyuk, whom he saw as his mentor.

past one o'clock
 
 
Past one o'clock. You must have gone to bed.
The Milky Way streams silver through the night.... [read poem]
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