Petrograd: Vzial [Osip Brik], 1916. 16 pp. 24,5x17 cm. In original printed wrappers. Good. Covers and spine significantly restored, inner edge of first and last leaves, corners of t.p. restored; covers and all double leaves detached from each other, pale water stains and some spots.
First separate edition. Rare.
Originally named ‘Stikhi ei’ [Verses for Her], a poem was dedicated to Vladimir Mayakovsky’s all-consuming passion, Lilya Brik whom he had met in summer 1915. Her husband Osip Brik became the poet’s close friend who supported futurist ideas and sponsored some publications by Mayakovsky.
The first part of the work debuted in the almanac ‘Vzial’ with tsarist censorship cuts. The poem was released as a separate edition in February 1916 at the publishing house ‘Vyyal’, even more heavily censored. The full text would appear soon after the Revolution, in a collection of works of 1909-1919 where it was titled ‘The Backbone’s Flute’.
The poem is considered a sequel to its predecessor ‘Oblako v shtanakh’, both outraged most of the contemporary critics.
Worldcat shows copies located in Harvard University, Getty Institute, Amherst College and NYPL.