San Francisco: City Lights, 1963. Single leaf, removed from the book. 6½ x 5 inches. Item #403104
A FINE NOTE MENTIONING MAYAKOVSKY AND FRANK O'HARA, WITH A DRAWING, presented to the British actor, author and filmmaker Herbert Marshall (1906-1991). Beneath the title Ginsberg draws the figure of Buddha's footprint: "Three fish with one head — a sign of Buddhahood incised in giant stone carving of Buddha footprint found under Bo Tree at Bodh Gaya, mythological Indian site of the Buddha's realization" (Ginsberg, quoted in the Collected Poems 1947-1980). He inscribes the title: "For Mr. H. Marshall on Times Square many years after reading his 1945 translation of Mayakovsky given to me by poet Frank O'Hara – Jan 7, 1965." The black stain at the foot of the page may have been added intentionally by Ginsberg.
Marshall's compilation, 'Mayakovsky and His Poetry', was first published in London in 1942, and reprinted there in 1945 (the American edition was published four years later). The Russian poet was a great influence on Frank O'Hara, as reflected by Ginsberg in a 1975 lecture at the Naropa Institute: "There’s a poem by Frank O’Hara, who taught me Mayakovsky actually, gave me my first book of Mayakovsky, 'A True Account Of Talking To The Sun At Fire Island' [Allen begins] 'The Sun woke me this morning loud/ and clear, saying Hey...' – So you see the shift of tone in 50 years. 'Hey!' – there’s a kind of brusque, boisterous Russian familiarity in Mayakovsky, but then, fifty years later in New York City gossip, funniness, faggotry, camp, 'Personism', the same thing as Mayakovsky. I think O’Hara liked Mayakovsky because Mayakovsky realized that he was as good as the sun. The sun shone, Mayakovsky shone, both were natural objects, both had nothing to fear from their shining. Both shone equally on their own nature, or the poet and the sun both shine equally of their own nature" (archived at Archive org). Ginsberg dedicated a 1981 lecture at Naropa to Mayakovsky and Russian "expansive" poetry.
O'Hara was one of the first U.S. poets to delve deeply into Mayakovsky's body of work and share it with other burgeoning poets in the New York scene, spreading his work where it was censored due to the Russian's association with Communism.