A Tribute to Vladimir Mayakovsky

- May 2000 -

Vladimir Mayakovsky took his own life on April 14, 1930, when he was only 37 years old. Here I am not going to praise his poetry, it would be so unfair in such a small and unsuitable place. This is only a short meditation on his death. As a young boy, I used to regard suicide as an insane mixture of cowardice and failure. An appalling act against reason and nature. But experience, or rather the slimy sense of injustice which seems to be lying at the bottom of mankind, has inevitably made me change my view. I have started wondering why so many poets and writers committed suicide. In his Divine Comedy Dante sentenced all suicides to hell. But I furiously disagree! Mayakovsky was an angel, and his untimely death was an act of extreme rebellion against a world he had been unable to fit in with, in spite of his political fancies. If he had waited for a natural death, he would have complied with the despicable power of a despicable routine. His desperate inability to accept the run-of-the-mill principles which regulate normality makes him different, heroic, divine. An angelic, self-destructive state, which, in terms of spiritual pain and anguish, can only be compared to Christ's suffering on the Mount of Olives.

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