New Life for Galaktion Tabidze
22 December, 2011
New Life for Galaktion Tabidze

 

50 poems of the poet see the light in the translation by Innes Merabishvili

Eminently written grand poetry tends to belong to entire humanity, not just to the nation that gave birth to that poetry.

The poesy-centered Georgian people who proudly recognize the greatness of poet Galaktion Tabidze would not expect from Innes Merabishvili anything less than the magnificent translation of the poet’s 50 jewels from Georgian into English, recently presented for judgment to the inquisitive international public. Who if not Galaktion

Tabidze is destined to penetrate the romantically throbbing hearts and minds around the world? Who but Innes Merabishvili should have ventured to embark on this glaringly conscientious mission? Yes, by this instance of poetic translation from one language into another art was given every possible creative due, but just as importantly the elevated patronage of the selfsame art was administered gingerly and unobtrusively. And the talent and efforts of both the poet and the translator were duly appreciated as expected.

 

Over 120 distinguished guests – diplomats, academics, figures of the political and literary worlds came together on 23 November at Canning House in London to celebrate 120th anniversary of the great Georgian poet Galaktion Tabidze. The event was organized by the Byron Society of Georgia and its President Professor Innes Merabishvili in collaboration with the British Georgian Society and the Embassy of Georgia. The event offered the launch of a new book of Tabidze’s poems translated into English by Professor Merabishvili and published by Critical, Cultural and Communications Press in Nottingham in 2011. This was followed by a short concert and a reception. Mr Stephen Nash, the former Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Georgia was the master of the ceremony. The welcome speech was delivered by the Ambassador of Georgia in London Mr. Giorgi Badridze. Galaktion Tabidze was called a Georgian Byron in his country. Therefore the event was attended by a number of guests from the International Byron Society among who were the descendants of the great English poet: the Lord Byron, the Earl of Lytton and the Countess of Lytton. Both of them spoke shortly but most cordially about the influence of their great ancestor over the world and pointed out his connections with Georgia. Among the speakers were also Lord Dominick Mereworth, the poet and the initiator of the event and the Professors of Nottingham University Richard Cardwell and Bernard McGuirk. A bilingual recital of Galaktion’s poems was offered by Erekle Koplatadze, a Georgian student at the University College in London and Innes Merabishvili, the translator.

Following are the randomly chosen from the book two wonderful pieces of Galaktion’s poetry translated by poet and literary researcher Innes Merabishvili.

 

The More Away

 

The more away, the more I love!

In you I love my dearest dream,

It feels – as if in Eden lives,

Untouched – as if the sun’s bright beam.

You differ, maybe, from that dream,

I never grieve about it now!

My aching heart is apt to wish

You were an angel white endowed.

Let ardour strange all burn my heart,

Let seas be filled with tears I shed,

To trust the miracle of Love,

And ravings of a lover mad.

 

* * *

The two great seas have met each other.

Stormy is one, calm is the other.

Both in excitement are saying anew:

The life’s coming soon with hopes so new.

Green turf’s parting from a fairy boat,

The proud lord is standing, time is old.

To Byron’s words is harking Mary,

Through colors fine is floating Shelley.

A boat is swinging low by the shore,

The waves’re dozing like a fate remote.

With billows high is sighing my lady,

A snow slide of Poesy’s gliding.

 

Hopefully, many more of Galaktion Tabidze’s (and other prominent Georgian poets’ too) poems are due in the future from under the tenderly feeling and poetically sensitive pen of Innes Merabishvili. This country definitely needs her efforts and talent as well as her habitual interest in promoting the Georgian poetry to continue serving the grateful Nation, and the world for that matter.

 

 

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