Ana K'alandadze: Four poems

translated by Kevin Tuite




gabrc'qinebuli iq'o t'adzari,                                  The cathedral glowed with a brilliant glow,

cecxlma aavso da tvalta sxivman                            Fire did fill it, and glistening eyes...

xma gugunebda gumbationit:                                A voice intoned, the cupola thrummed:

"shekmen sapase, ver garq'vnas mghilman!"        "Store up treasure which no moth destroys."


shens lamaz saxes k'elapt'ris ali                           The taper's flame thy winsome face

mighma kveq'niur sinatles hpenda..                      With other-worldly light has fanned.

xma gugunebda isev da isev:                                 The voice intoned again and again:

"saxls nu aageb kvishasa zeda!"                           "Build thou not thy house on sand."


gadgs shoreuli momc'vano elva                            The distant flash of cherubic life

kerubionis, cata mq'opisa...                                   With greenish hue above thee swirls...

k'vlav churchulebda moxuci mate:                        The old man Matthew is whispering still:

"shen xar marili ama soplisa!"                              "For thou art the salt of this world."

gacisk'rebuli iq'o t'adzari...                                  The cathedral gleamed with the early dawn..




II. Aragvtan                                                         By the Aragvi


kvac rom gdia                                                        scattered stones fill me

grdznebit mavsebs                                                 with weird-craft

joxic...                                                                   sticks too...

mtovi bangisao...                                                   opium snowing...

ras kirkileb,                                                            you snicker!

arak'aco,                                                                worthless one -

bevri gesmis                                                          you are so far

magisao!                                                                from knowing!





c'q'aros k'amk'amebs                                         a cool spring's cut-crystal

broli...                                                                    shimmers...

c'q'nar shemodgomis                                           in sunlight of somnolent

mzeshi                                                                   autumn

ghvtaebriv surnels aprkvevs                                   a godly aroma suffuses...

k'ak'alis potolta                                                    from walnut-tree foliage

nesho.                                                                    fallen.



IV. Ianvris q'vavilebi upliscixeshi                   January flowers at Uplistsikhe


ucxo q'vavilis gamxmar gheroebs                         Dried stems of alien flowers

kvis xeobashi mart'odgha shtenilt                         left alone in a rocky gorge —

rad chaukindravt tavi mc'uxared?                          such sad drooping heads, how so?

mat gardasuli sit'urpec shvenit...                           Still, faded beauty suits them...

rad mist'irian tavis gvirgvinebs                              Why weep for stolen crowns,

gadzrcvilt,ganp'irult dzvirpasi tvlebit?                    precious stones, plundered, lost?

mat araperi kveq'nad ar undat —                          Nothing worldly stirs desire —

tvis sulis mdzime glovashi tvlemen...                     in heavy grief of soul they slumber...

k'acta enaze gulkva k'ldeebi                                 Stone-heart cliffs, malignant winds

mat daicaven avi karebit.                                        (so they seem to us) stand guard.

ugvirgvinot da araprismkonet                                Without crowns, possessions none,

tavis c'iaghshi sheipareben...                                 they are sheltered in their womb...

karebis guguns, ghrubelta krolas                           Winds' roar and blowing clouds —

ar aghibech'den mati sulebi?                                 this is what their souls reflect?

gamoigheben k'vlav axal potols                            They will yet take up new leaves

da tvis gvirgvinebs daibruneben.                            and their crowns return once more.