Saturday, October 1, 2011

Velimir (Viktor) Khlebnikov


Velimir (Viktor) Khlebnikov

A Refusal

It is far more pleasant
to gaze at the stars
than to sign
a death sentence.
I am far more pleased
to listen to the voices of flowers
whispering “It is he!”
lowering their headlets
while I pace the garden
than to view dark rifles
of the guards killing
those who want
to kill me.
And this is why I will never,
No, never be, a leader.

—January, April 1922

(Transl. Alex Cigale)

(Photo of Khlebnikov, 1908)

Velimir (Viktor) Khlebnikov
(born 28 October,
1885; died 28 June, 1922.was a poet and prose writer, an outstanding figure of Russian avant-garde art, one of the initiators of Russian futurism, a reformer of poetic language, and an experimentalist in word creation and “zaum” (roughly translated as “trans-sense” or “trans-rational”), i.e. the ultimate poetic language, devised by him…

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