Jansugh Charkviani ‘The Gorgeous Death’
02 October, 2015
Jansugh Charkviani ‘The Gorgeous Death’
Translated from Georgian by Nugzar B. Ruhadze

When spring starts talking,
Sun hears stag’s bellow,
When cherry blossom
Bursts in flowering,
When buds split open,
Song feels pleasing,
Deer get startled –
They see the sunlight
In their antlers trickle down,
When the swallows dash to sky,
When the clime is warming soil,
Stags rush open April’s gate,
Peachtree twigs as antlers rise,
When the sun departs from meadows,
Chamomiles, snowdrops to yield,
Deer feed grass to one another,
antlers as in toasting,
When the willow wants to cry,
Poles bend to kiss the vines,
Wishing-stone-spangled sky
Will be catching my gaze,
Bursting out in tears, in laughter,
Rooted dwellers do reminisce,
Hills and mountains shining greenish,
I will burn as torch for homeland,
Like a panther erect on tiptoes,
Glancing back at olden days,
I meet the death – the death as gorgeous
As in birth was this all laid.

Nota bene by NBR

The other day, I shuffled through the Georgian-language tear-off calendar, published by our Palitra Media House, stopping on the 30th of September – the birthday of the prominent Georgian poet Jansugh Charkviani. The reverse page of the sheet carried one of the most famous poems by the poet ‘The Gorgeous Death’. I certainly knew that popular verse almost by heart, but I read it over and over again, and all of sudden, I felt like translating it into English. I had a very serious urge to try. Frankly, my eagerness to do so had helped me to cope with it at one single whiff. When I returned to the first line to reread the translation, I immediately wanted to run it in our GJ and to give our beloved poet our heartfelt congratulations. Could there be any better way to express our love and gratitude to him? Happy birthday to you Jansugh and many, many more!
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