In the first part of these articles I wrote about Georgian writer, Shota Rustaveli and his outstanding poem, which to this day is considered a masterpiece of world literature.

Nikoloz Baratashvili

Continuing with my list of great Georgian writers and with their works, I present to you XIX century poet Nikoloz Baratashvili. He was one of the first Georgians to marry modern nationalism with European Romanticism and to introduce "Europeanism" into Georgian literature. Due to his early death, Baratashvili left a relatively small literary heritage of fewer than forty short lyrics, one extended poem, and a few private letters, but he is nevertheless considered to be the high point of Georgian Romanticism. He was referred to as the "Georgian Byron".

Image by Bored being

Nikoloz Baratashvili was hopelessly in love with Georgian(Qartveli) princess, Ekaterine Dadiani. She was his muse, but unfortunately the feelings weren't mutual.
I love Baratashvili as through his poetry, you can feel his emotions, his pain and loneliness. It aches in your chest that you couldn't help this beautiful soul. Baratashvili died of malaria in Ganja, unmourned and unpublished, at the age of 27. Baratashvili's influence was long delayed, but as the next generation of Georgian literati rediscovered his lyrics, he was posthumously published, between 1861 and 1876, and idolized.

Even though we have few of his lyrics, all of them are considered a masterpiece of romanticism. One of the most notable lyrics is called Merani(Georgian word for a unicorn like magical horse, but without a horn)
This is best translated version of the verse but as you know,

barrier, films, and language image

The beauty of Georgian poetry can't be shown in translation but still, enjoy what it is:

It runs; it flies; it bears me on; it heeds no trail nor spoor;
A raven black behind me croaks with ominous eyes of doom;
Speed thee on and onward fly with a gallop that knoweth no bound,
Fling to the winds my stormy thoughts in raging darkness found.
Go onward! onward! cleaving through roaring wind and rain
Over many a mount and many a plain, short'ning my days of pain;
Seek not shelter, my flying steed, from scorching skies or storm;
Pity not thy rider sad, by self-immolation worn.
I bid farewell to parents, kin, to friends and sweetheart dear
Whose gentle voice did soothe my hopes to a hot and bitter tear.
Where the night falls, there let it dawn, there let my country be;
Only the heavenly stars above my open heart will see.
The sighs that burn, that rend the heart to stormy waves I hurl;
To thy inspired, wild maddened flight, love's waning passions whirl.
Speed thee on, and onward fly, with a gallop that knoweth no bound,
Fling to the winds my stormy thoughts, in raging darkness found.
In foreign lands thou lay me low, not where my fathers sleep;
Nor shed thou tears nor grieve, my love, nor over my body weep;
Ravens grim will dig my grave and whirlwinds wind a shroud
There, on desert plains where winds will howl in wailings loud.
No lover's tears but dew divine will moist my bed of gloom;
No dirge but vultures' shrieks will sound above my lowly tomb;
Bear me far beyond the bounds of fate, my Merani,
Fate whose slave I never was, and henceforth - never shall be!
By fate repulsed, oh bury me in a dark and lonely grave:
My bloody foe, I fear thee not - thy flashing sword I brave.
thee on and onward fly with a gallop that knoweth no bound,
Fling to the winds my stormy thoughts in raging darkness found.
The yearnings of my restless soul will no in vain have glowed,
For, dashing on, my steel has paved a new untrodden road.
He who follows in our wake, a smoother path will find;
Daring all, his fateful steed shall leave dark fate behind
It runs; it flies; it bears me on; it heeds no trail nor spoor;
A raven black behind me croaks with ominous eyes of doom;
Speed thee on, and onward fly, with a gallop that knoweth no bound,
Fling to the winds my stormy thoughts, in raging darkness found.

Nikoloz Baratashvili is my favorite poet because he could do what truly great artists do, took his pain and turned it into something beautiful, something worth living for.

Cover picture is a painting by a famous Georgian artist, Lado Gudiashvili. It is called Merani and depicts Nikoloz Baratashvili riding his magical horse(Merani) to unknown, better lands.