"Love" Commentary

This cycle of poetry titled "I Love" contains ten short poems about the different stages in Mayakovsky's life, and was dedicated to Lili Brik.

My University is another attempt of Mayakovsky to justify the worth of the poet in society. Still carrying with him the ideas of Futurism, here he continuously advocates throwing out the old «classical» education of French and mathematics, for what a person really needs to understand is how to be in tune with the world. Russia is now the country of the worker, not a place for this old, bourgeoisie way of learning, and this fervor was especially apparent in Mayakovsky's university days when the revolution was still very young. But Mayakovsky is not a worker, so what is his use? His answer is that he, the poet, is more in tune with life than anyone else. Being able to «speak to houses» is not just a metaphor- Mayakovsky believes that he can hear and understand the greatness of the seemingly ordinary. Even more than that, Mayakovsky declares that he has been this way ever since he was a child.


The other two poems presented here, You and What Happened, deal directly with Lili Brik. In What Happened, Mayakovsky reflects on the weight of his own heart. All throughout his life, there has been nowhere or no one who could contain him and thus, he becomes hunched over as the love he cannot give swells up inside of him. This love of course is Lili Brik, but also his love of writing, which in About Myself he says also cannot be contained in this world.
However, Mayakovsky does find relief in You, one of his most optimistic and light heated poems. Here, Mayakovsky finds that with Lili he no longer feels the «yolk» of his the pain that comes with the awkwardness of his being. With Lili, he is as carefree as a boy again, with a heart as light as a bouncing ball. He feels accepted here, calling her a miracle that stayed with him even though he was «large» and «roaring», and even if other people thought ill of their relationship.

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