ZVIAD RATIANI



2017-01-31


ZVIAD RATIANI

Poet, translator.
Zviad Ratiani published five books of his and two of translated
poetry. He has received number of literary awards
including Saba prize for the best poetry collection of the
year in 2009. As a translator, he mainly focuses on British
and American verse of 20th century. His poems are translated
into English, German, Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian,
Italian, Azerbaijanian, Dutch and other languages.
 
 
* * *
to Tadeusz Dobrowski
 
Me and my friend, we still keep writing poems.
There’s nothing to laugh about.
We ourselves don’t feel joy
that so foolishly doomed our only
(even if not only) lives. Sometimes
I try to justify myself: “So long
as a human does not know when he is going to die,
poetry will exist” – I say to my friend,
he starts thinking. I leave on my business trip,
can’t fall asleep at the hotel, got no book
or anything to read, and the TV is not what I like
but as there’s no other choice, nervously skip from
one channel to another. And here, a man and a women
with their glowing oily bodies, glowing
leather boots, shiny lips and tits
and supposend genitals, they are
repeating one another. “Sex,
decorative sex; and then, what more to ask from
poetry?” – I ask my friend when I come back.
“So long as a human does not know how he is going to die,
poetry will grow refined” – my friend justifies himself
and there is nothing to laugh about.
 
/ translated from Georgian by Paul Kingsnorth /