Collected Works of Velimir Khlebnikov: Selected Poems

“Dubbed through his fellow Futurists the “King of Time”, Velimir Khlebnikov (1885–1922) spent his complete short lifestyles looking for a brand new poetic language to precise his convictions concerning the rhythm of heritage, the correspondence among human habit and the “language of the stars.” the end result was once an unlimited physique of poetry and prose that has been referred to as airtight, incomprehensible, even deranged. Of all this tragic iteration of Russian poets (including Blok, Esenin, and Mayakovsky), Khlebnikov has been might be the main praised and the extra censured.”

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Additional resources for Collected Works of Velimir Khlebnikov: Selected Poems (Volume 3)

Sample text

Though we have learned to fly. I'm bitter, I haven't got words to describe one I loved, who betrayed me. No, I'm the hostage of crazed elder statesmen; I'm only a scared wild rabbit they want to tame and not at all the King of Time that people call me. One small step, only add a and the i drops out, a tiny golden scepter lost on a slanting floor.

Let us move like the world's first citizen, the wolf, and stampede the horses carved on the Chartomlyk vase. Let us outsmart the wolf, ur-scribe of the Russian land, and praise extinct incisors, murderous combat. Let's break the necks of dialects like baby geese. We are bored to death by their honking. Let's muzzle the universe, keep it from biting us, who are young; let's move among lean white hunting dogs flicking our riding crops, smearing the buttercups with blood from our fragile hands ripped by the tusk of the universe, the slaver-mouth of the universe.

If we accept the invitation to read it as a real, historical utterance in the guise of verse, we lose the safety net of poetic convention and find ourselves face to face with the figure of Khlebnikov; we must then decide whether he is mad, or feebleminded, or merely a misguided genius. It is a decision not many readers feel comfortable making. The alternative is to interpret the voice as an impersonation, making the speaker a type for the disillusioned poet 21 Brought to you by | Cambridge University Library Authenticated Download Date | 8/23/15 9:15 AM The Poet and His Voices confronting an insensitive world.

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