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My Soviet Passport

Written by: Vladimir Mayakovsky | Biography
 | Quotes (2) |
 I'd tear
 like a wolf
 at bureaucracy.
For mandates
 my respect's but the slightest.
To the devil himself
 I'd chuck without mercy
every red-taped paper.
 But this ...
Down the long front
 of coupés and cabins
File the officials
 politely.
They gather up passports
 and I give in
My own vermilion booklet.
For one kind of passport -
smiling lips part
For others -
 an attitude scornful.
They take
 with respect, for instance,
 the passport
From a sleeping-car
English Lionel.
The good fellows eyes
 almost slip like pips
when,
 bowing as low as men can,
they take,
 as if they were taking a tip,
the passport
 from an American.
At the Polish,
 they dolefully blink and wheeze
in dumb
 police elephantism -
where are they from,
 and what are these
geographical novelties?
And without a turn
 of their cabbage heads,
their feelings
 hidden in lower regions,
they take without blinking,
 the passports from Swedes
and various
 old Norwegians.
Then sudden
 as if their mouths were
 aquake
those gentlemen almost
 whine
Those very official gentlemen
 take
that red-skinned passport
 of mine.
Take-
 like a bomb
 take - like a hedgehog,
like a razor
 double-edge stropped,
take -
 like a rattlesnake huge and long
with at least
 20 fangs
 poison-tipped.
The porter's eyes
 give a significant flick
(I'll carry your baggage
 for nix,
 mon ami...)
The gendarmes enquiringly
 look at the tec,
the tec, -
 at the gendarmerie.
With what delight
 that gendarme caste
would have me
 strung-up and whipped raw
because I hold
 in my hands
 hammered-fast
sickle-clasped
 my red Soviet passport.
I'd tear
 like a wolf
 at bureaucracy.
For mandates
 my respect's but the slightest.
To the devil himself
 I'd chuck
 without mercy
every red-taped paper,
 But this ...
I pull out
 of my wide trouser-pockets
duplicate
of a priceless cargo.
 You now:
read this
 and envy,
 I'm a citizen
of the Soviet Socialist Union!


Transcribed: by Liviu Iacob.



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