Conversation with Comrade Lenin by Vladimir Mayakovsky
Awhirl with events, packed with jobs one too many, the day slowly sinks as the night shadows fall. There are two in the room: I and Lenin- a photograph on the whiteness of wall.
The stubble slides upward above his lip as his mouth jerks open in speech. The tense creases of brow hold thought in their grip, immense brow matched by thought immense. A forest of flags, raised-up hands thick as grass... Thousands are marching beneath him... Transported, alight with joy, I rise from my place, eager to see him, hail him, report to him! “Comrade Lenin, I report to you - (not a dictate of office, the heart’s prompting alone)
This hellish work that we’re out to do
will be done and is already being done. We feed and we clothe and give light to the needy,
the quotas for coal and for iron fulfill, but there is any amount of bleeding muck and rubbish around us still.
Without you, there’s many have got out of hand,
all the sparring and squabbling does one in. There’s scum in plenty hounding our land,
outside the borders and also within.
Try to count ’em and tab ’em - it’s no go,
there’s all kinds, and they’re thick as nettles: kulaks, red tapists, and, down the row, drunkards, sectarians, lickspittles. They strut around proudly as peacocks, badges and fountain pens studding their chests. We’ll lick the lot of ’em- but to lick ’em is no easy job at the very best. On snow-covered lands and on stubbly fields, in smoky plants and on factory sites, with you in our hearts, Comrade Lenin, we build, we think, we breathe, we live, and we fight!” Awhirl with events, packed with jobs one too many, the day slowly sinks as the night shadows fall. There are two in the room: I and Lenin - a photograph on the whiteness of wall.