Mayakovsky and cleverness

3 December 2008


A snippet on how the great revolutionary poet Mayakovsky dealt with post-revolutionary hecklers complaining that his work was too ‘clever’:

‘My comrades and I read your poems and didn’t understand anything.’

‘You must choose more clever comrades.’

In Michael Almereyda’s selection of writings by and about Mayakovsky, Night Wraps the Sky.

The portrait, is from MOMA’s Rodchenko exhibition. The tip came from Adam Thirlwell’s selection of ‘books of the year’.


One Response to “Mayakovsky and cleverness”

  1. You may be interested to know that there is a film out on DVD called “Mayakovsky”. Using archive footage, locations in Moscow and recordings of Mayakovsky reading his poetry the film explores his life and work. For more information see

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