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The Spike or Victoria University College Review 1943

'The Output of Poetry.'"

'The Output of Poetry.'"

Mayakovsky's greatest work, at any rate of that available to English readers in his epic poem "Lenin" part of which has been translated into our language by Herbert Marshall and dedicated to the newly bereaved Communist Party of the Soviet Union. It is not merely the personal story of a great man, in the grief of the Soviet peoples in mourning, Lenin's gift to mankind can be recognized. He is dead but

is now
the most live of all living
Our weapon
our knowledge
our power."

Guiding genius of Russia's people through reaction to revolution, Lenin left a poetry of knowledge, a grieving people and work well done

brings a genuine anguish
hearts break frozen
the most earthly
of all
who have lived
on this earth of men.

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Tasman Valley

Tasman Valley

R. S. Unwin

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Mt Tasman

Mt Tasman

R. S. Unwin

page 17

In this epic Mayakovsky writes the story of the ages of man's exploitation of man, from the cry of the early slaves to the years in the memory of when the communards of Paris died for liberty, up to the persent day

Hear the thunderous rumble
of the oncoming years
the accumulating anger
of human evolution
a storm of rebellion
whose lightning sears
and flames of revolt
flare to red revolution,"

Moving in its simplicity, stark in its feeling, even in translation it cannot fail to open new fields and indeed a new conception of literature to English readers.

He wrote for this audience—a people working and consciously striving up the road of mankind's advancement. His was the radiant energy of an inspired genious, throwing aside conventional expressions and sweeping all before him with his vitality. Twenty-four the October Revolution came, thirty-seven when he died, yet Mayakovsky made a contribution to human progress to be measured not merely in words and books. His work can be seen not only in the poetry but in the spirit of the Soviet Union to-day.

Once at the reading of his work he had said
"With Lenin in our heads
And a gun in our hands..."
but a Red Armyman finished it for him
"And your poetry in our hearts, Comrade Mayakovsky."