ваше слово, товарищ маузер!

30/11/18, modified 30/11/18

Every now and then some russian is posted in the log. As I'm trying to learn russian, I wanted
to translate all those russian words and sentences and make a page out of it. This morning the last
line of the log read

"ваше слово, товарищ маузер!".

What could this possibly mean? I knew the first tree words but had to look up the last.
This last word turned out to be german written in cyrillic: "Mauser". And
so we get

Your word, comrade mauser!

So there you have it! A fresh translation, but I have no idea of the meaning. Let's try to find
some meaning and search for the sentence. It turns out the be part of a poem (стихи), "Левый марш".
And so, "Левый" meaning "left wing", I assume the poem could be called in english:
"The March of the Socialist". From the name and the number of links you get when searching
for it, the poem was probably taught to all USSR children.1

The full poem:

Разворачивайтесь в марше!
Словесной не место кляузе.
Тише, ораторы!
товарищ маузер.
Довольно жить законом,
данным Адамом и Евой.
Клячу историю загоним.

Эй, синеблузые!
За океаны!
у броненосцев на рейде
ступлены острые кили?!
оскалясь короной,
вздымает британский лев вой.
Коммуне не быть покорённой.

за горами го́ря
солнечный край непочатый.
За голод,
за мора море
шаг миллионный печатай!
Пусть бандой окружат на́нятой,
стальной изливаются ле́евой[1], —
России не быть под Антантой.

Глаз ли померкнет орлий?
В старое ль станем пялиться?
у мира на горле
пролетариата пальцы!
Грудью вперёд бравой!
Флагами небо оклеивай!
Кто там шагает правой?

Let's try to translate the first verse, "Разворачивайтесь в марше". The first
word is "Turn around", so probably "Turn around in the march". The image could be that I'm
marching towards and unknown goal and now have to decide to turn around on the basis of a point
that will be made in this poem. It could also be that it should be in english "Turn around and march",
stop whatever you are doing and go and march.

Next, "Словесной не место кляузе.", the first one means "verbal", the second and third can have multiple meanings
but probably stand for "no place", the last one is again some german "Klaus". This may mean "No more place for Klaus to speak"

Then, "Тише, ораторы!" which seems to be not so hard: "Quiet, orator!"

Then the sentence from the log "Your word, comrade mauser!"

"Довольно жить законом,". "Enough live of the statutes,". This makes no sense yet, so let's do the next sentence.

"данным Адамом и Евой". "Information/data of adam and eve". Biblical reverences, searching for the two first words in the previous sentence always results in the poem, so it's probably an uncommon construct. The previous sentence might be "The statuses/scriptures have lived long enough" or "Enough with a life of the scriptures". Next could come: "as has the knowledge of Adam and Eve".

"Клячу историю загоним.". Again that german "Klaus", then "history" , then a verb that means "drive/hammer/herd into" but also "to exhaust". So, this could be "Klaus history has been exhausted".

The verse ends with: "Left!", 3 times2

And we get this reconstruction in English

Turn around in the march
No more place for Klaus to speak
Quiet, orator!
Your word, comrade mauser!
The statuses/scriptures have lived long enough,
as has the knowledge of Adam and Eve
Klaus history has been exhausted

Still, no obvious meaning, but we can take guess. This word, is the word of a German, but that same German's is then compared to a mauser. You speak sweet words but will shoot in the back. How far off am I?

  1. I used to have this image that russians were
    barbarian people without any culture. As it turns out, it was the other way around, who could have known? Any random USSR
    trained man knows more poems and has deeper cultural references then me. Well, at least I read a lot of SF! []
  2. This is how you march in russia, you keep shouting "Левой" and use it to pace your step. []

4 Responses to “ваше слово, товарищ маузер!”

  1. > Biblical reverences, searching for the two first words in the previous sentence always results in the poem, so it's probably an uncommon construct.

    References ; but otherwise the count methodology is sound, certainly what we do when trying to deal with antique, forgotten meanings archeology sometimes forces upon us. A pleasure to read.

    And yes, from culturally supported interpretation, the intension of vase slovo tov mauser is very much in the vein of a poker game -- "your TURN to speak".

    • ИМ says:

      In case you still care...

      the meaning is -- enough talking, lets act.

      In this particular case, act means violence: mauser was a popular nadgun during the revolution times. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mauser_C96
      Mayakovsky's verse is extremely rhythmical, imo impossible to translate.

  2. Somewhat loose transl. follows.


    About turn! March!
    Shut your mouths,
    whining orators,
    We'll listen to whining
    no more.
    Comrade Mauser!
    You have
    the floor.

    Throw out all the commandments
    of those geezers Adam and Eve.
    And that old nag horse, History,
    Let's to the knacker's lead.


    Hey, blueshirts!
    Pack it!
    Overseas forevermore!
    Or are all your ironclads' keels
    no longer so sharp as before?!

    Let, with his scowl of a crown,
    British Lion disgorge futile howl.
    The Commune shall never bow.

    past the mountains of sorrow
    There is a land of the sun.
    Pay back for hunger,
    and for seas of horror,
    let millions step one by one!

    Let all their paid footmen meet us,
    And rain upon us their hot steel,
    The Entente shall never defeat us.

    Can they blind the eye of the eagle?
    Can they mire us in swamps of the past?
    Stiffen your hand,
    tightly the world's throat
    we grasp!

    Deck out the sky with our banner!
    With our chests to the foe we shall fight!
    Hey you, lockstep! left foot! not right!

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