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A first edition of Mayakovsky’s futuristic poem hailing the 150-million-strong Russians to start the world revolution was published anonymously in 1921. 

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A scarce first edition of the futuristic poetry was written by Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky and published anonymously. The poem is an allegorical battle between Russian Ivan and the American president Woodrow Wilson, and hailing the 150,000,000 strong Russians to start the world’s revolution. 

The reason the poem was published anonymously is explained in the first verse:


150 000 000 мастера этой поэмы имя. 

Пуля – ритм. 

Рифма-огонь из здания в здание. 

150 000 000 говорит губами моими. 

Ротационной шагов 

в булыжном верже площадей 

напечатано это издание.

Кто спросит луну? Кто солнце к ответу притянет – чего ночи и дни чинитe?

Кто назовет земли гениального автора? Так и этой моей поэмы никто не сочинитель…



150 millions is the name of this poem’s master

Bullet is rhythm, flame’s a rhyme jumping from house to house.

150 millions speak through my mouth

Masses marching over the stepping-stone paper is the offset duplicator machine getting these pages printed.

Who’d enquire the Moon and the Sun of what makes them bring out day and night, who’d demand the name of creator genius?

The same’s with this poem: it hasn’t got one single author.


The book was printed in 5000 examples. Leinin did not like the book. He commented it:


“How one can not be ashamed of publishing Mayakovskiy’s 150.000.000 in 5000 copies? Nonsense, stupid, large stupidity and pretentiousness. In my opinion, to print such a things is only worth 1 out of 10, and not more than 1500 copies should be made. For libraries and for eccentrics. And Lunacharsky* should make the futurism.“

(Как не стыдно голосовать за издание 150 000 000 Маяковского в 5000 экз.? Вздор, глупо, махровая глупость и претенциозность. По-моему, печатать такие вещи лишь 1 из 10 и не более 1500 экз. для библиотек и для чудаков. А Луначарского сечь за футуризм.)


*Anatoly Lunacharsky, was the first Bolshevik Soviet People’s Commissar responsible for Ministry and Education, and an author.

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