For British Workers: Versions of Vladimir Mayakovsky and Others
Mayakovsky understood as well as anyone why love – and tedium – are social, and thus political; and that the political should be intimately personal (not the task of a self-seeking, self-selecting cadre). Anyone who hasn’t understood this has never been political; and never loved. As Mayakovsky wrote, trying to refute societal as well as personal despondency: “You have to wrench / joy / from the day-to-day”. (For once, he doesn’t employ the word byt.) In a world filled with the poetry of immiseration, I think in Mayakovsky’s finest work – as, say, the final part of the long poem-sequence GOOD!, written for the 10th anniversary of the October Revolution, which closes this book – he abundantly succeeds.
£10.50, 70pp, ISBN 978-1-903488-85-0, 2015/06
Harry Gilonis is a poet, editor, publisher, and occasional critic. A Professor of English at a Canadian university said of him that he “collaborates with his reading”; much of his work works inter-textually, through widely-varying modes of translation (and sometimes quite extreme mis-translation…). For British Workers endeavours to capture the spirit, and much of the time the letter, of the poetry surrounding the early years of the Russian Revolution: a poetry of radical optimism from which, he hopes, something can still be gained.More about Harry Gilonis»