Every genius is nourished by his native land. Geniuses are those who can be received by other nations like their native sons,” Writes famous Georgian poet, Vazha-Pshavela in his iconic essay, “Cosmopolitanism and Patriotism.” Little did he realize that he himself was the personification of all this: A genius, whose work accurately portrays the divinity of earthly energy that unites all life on earth, a child of mountainous region of Pshavi, who felt both the beauty of nature and the chaos humanity caused to it. Sadly, due to the fact that southern Caucasian literature is unknown to the mainstream audience, other nations barely had any chance to receive Vazha as their “native son”, which is why I am here today, writing a short summary of his work and analyzing it through my translations, so please, hear both me and Vazha-Pshavela out, as we have a lot important things to say.
Child, why do you cry, What misfortune has come by? Enduring while in distress, Has always been the rule of a man!
შვილო, რად სტირი ნეტარა, რა უბედობა გეწვია? ჭირში ყოფნის დროს გაძლება მუდამ ვაჟკაცის წესია!
As you see, even the edge of endless sea, Is brief!
ჰხედავთ, მოკლეა საზღვარი უსაზღვრო ზღვისა კიდისა!..
What created me as a human being? Why did I not come as rain? I could have been forever On clouds core and chest, as bead and chain.
რამ შემქმნა ადამიანად? რატომ არ მოვედ წვიმადა, რომ ვყოფილიყავ მუდამა ღრუბელთ გულ-მკერდის მძივადა.
Lika Sharashidze's blog on Vazha Pshavela is a wonderful introduction to the world of the Georgian mokheve. The mokheve inhabits the mountains of the southern Caucasus -Vazha Pshavela's domain of folk stories, spirits, animals, and humans struggling with the challenges of a wild and fantastic landscape. The poetry, beautifully translated by Lika Sharashidze, is from a different world which reminds us of how connected we are with all that is around us.
From our blog
For George Leonidze. By Vazha-Pshavela (translation by me).
For the first time, in adolescence, When I was just starting to open my eyes, Weeping, while catching the essence, Of my homeland, agonized- I was searching desperately, For a helping hand, delicately, Nobody was a guard, For our oppressed land, So, I started weeping harder, I was bursting into tears, as if I was […]
Cosmopolitan patriotism during the crisis
“Patriotism, just like life and the connections with it, is present within one when they are born into this world; it contains pieces within itself that a no sane human can deny and those so-called pieces show themselves in mother language, historical past, historical territories, in the faces of famous figures, literature and so on. […]
Unorthodox ways of portraying nature and ecology in Vazha’s works
Nature in Literature has always been omnipresent, all-forgiving and divine, as well as on equal grounds with God: No matter what you do, you can’t fight its wrath, change its laws or the love it has for humanity. The phenomena of collective physical world and Literature is a common synthesis, but the disciplines belonging to […]
General cognitive perception of metaphors in the work of Vazha-Pshavela
A while ago, I translated this poem by Vazha called “Wedding of the Giants,” it goes like this: “It was a roaring thunderstorm in the sky, during the night, The mountains were bowing their heads, Forest was abandoned by leaves for a flight, And sea was roaring, as well as black. It was a wedding […]
Vazha and the mountains of jazz, part I
part I “Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child” is a Negro spiritual written in the late nineteenth century that echoes the slavish existence of African-Americans during those times. Pier Paolo Pasolini used this melody in his film, “The Gospel According to St. Matthew”, in a scene which pictures shepherds coming to see infant Christ. […]