Book review: Backbone Flute by Vladimir Mayakovsky


Book: Backbone Flute

Poetry of Vladimir Mayakovsky

Author: Vladimir Mayakovsky

Pages: 131

My Review and Thoughts:

Before I came across this I had no knowledge of this Poet. This was another random poetry buy for me. This is a Russian Poet and his work has been translated to English by Andrey Kneller. What is interesting about this book is on the one page you get the work in the original language and on the opposite page the work in English.

This book truly is a book that can change one’s idea of what great poetry is about.

I have never experienced the amazing one of a kind control that Vladimir has. He takes, a sentence and brings it to life in an emotional roller coaster of changes within moods and emotional appeal. A word to him, comes to life in vibrant colors of personal senses.

Mayakovsky created a living emotionally desired truth, that lingered from page to mind and then into the heart, but most of all the soul. Mayakovsky creates inside his poetry something so bold, so exploratory, that the senses of the one reading, can't help but feel wasted, thoroughly excited, and exhausted. His poetry is truly a unique journey that I have to say in all honesty I am floored I had never heard of him or read any of his wonderful works.

What makes him stand out is his unique and odd reality of writing. Which I gather is the problem in translating most of his work because he used a unique writing style only to him. His work is odd because he did irregular line breaks while writing his poetry that most poets would never dare to do. Sometimes rhyme and non-rhyme that came together in sync and then non-sync. He blasted his work with massive metaphors and descriptions through his personal imagery that made his poetry a one of kind in nature.

His writing gave such power to words. His words in a sense bled. His senses became your senses. You were the actions, emotions, reactions of his words. You become transfixed upon the poems. You became the lover of words displayed in senses. You became the emotional bleeding. You became the desire of colors throughout his writing.

Sadly, he was only 36 years old when he died. I can’t imagine the work that he could have done if he had not killed himself. He truly was a soul that knew writing. He was a soul that became words. He was a soul that created emotionally charged poetry that will stand the test of time. In his suicide note he wrote:

"And so they say – "the incident dissolved" / the love boat smashed up / on the dreary routine. / I'm through with life / and [we] should absolve / from mutual hurts, afflictions and spleen."

Would I Recommended: In a heartbeat. I can’t express enough how important this book of poetry is and how important this poet was. Truly a shame it took me this long to experience this master talent.

Would I Return to: In a heartbeat? I have already started reading it a second time. His work is truly a one of a kind experience and I am happy that I came across this book.

Four Final Words: Brilliant. Perfection. Emotionally Intense.

My Rating: 5 out of 5

Favorite Lines:

Page 19:

oh, if I only were
quiet,
like thunder, -
I’d moan
and the earth would tremble, languished.
If I allow my vast voice
to rumble, -
the comets, wringing their burning arms,
would plunge in anguish

Page 63

A pimp and a fraud all the while.
From all of you,
Who soaked in love for plain fun,
who spilled
tears into centuries while you cried,
I’ll walk away
 and place the monocle of the sun
into my gaping, wide-open eye.