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120th anniversary of outstanding Georgian poet Terenti Graneli
25 November, 2017
120 years ago on November 25, celebrated Georgian poet Terenti Graneli was born.

Terenti Kvirkvelia, more known by his pen-name Terenti Graneli, was born in Tsalenjikha, town in Georgia’s Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti Region.

As it is known, his pseudonym Graneli was inspired by a Latin word granum that means a seed, grain. According to his sisters, he used to call himself a tiny part, seed of the entire world and that is why he took this surname.

Yet another version states that he named himself Graneli because of his love to Italian opera singer with same surname who performed in famous Georgian opera “Abesalom and Eteri”.

He was raised in a family of poor peasants. After graduating primary school in his native village in 1918 he took short courses organized by Shalva Nutsubidze (a Georgian philosopher, translator and public benefactor, one of the founders of the Tbilisi State University) in Tbilisi.

Apart his passion to writing, he worked at the railway station and as a clerk at the newspaper.Terenti started his career as a poet in Tbilisi. His poetry was full of sadness and mysticism that is felt in his masterpieces “Today I Destroyed Yesterday's Thoughts”, “White Thoughts” and “Memento Mori”.

“Now I don't know what to do when I am in this situation,
When the ghost of age steals on my soul.
I am a strong talent, celestial creature,
My soft country is azure” – his most famous poetry Memento Mori reads.

His poetry and individuality was not acceptable to the Soviet government, so the poet was declared chauvinist and improper writer.

Graneli published his first verses in 1918. His collection of poems "Memento Mori" (remember that you have to die) appeared in 1924.

His works also include poems and essays. In 1926 he published his last book of rhymes and only in 1980s his name was restored and his works were recognized. 

From the beginning of 1928 Graneli's health worsened. During last years of his life poet suffered from depression and psychological problems. In 1933 he was placed in mental asylum in Surami, a small town in Georgia's Shida Kartli region. Yet he escaped and ended up in other hospital in Tbilisi, where he passed away at the age of 37.  

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