In Favor of Returning an Interesting World

Several months ago, the Italian translation of the poetry collection titled Echo by the Georgian poet Dato Maghradze, received a high literary appraisal. The presentation of the book took place at one of the remarkable fortresses of Rome called Castel of Sant Angelo, at the hall named after Paulina. This pleasant cultural occasion once again proved that the European intellectual society eagerly watches the creative works of the Georgian poet.

Mr. Maghradze, as far as I know, the poetry lovers of a lot of foreign countries are interested in your verses.

Yes. Besides Italy, a big part of my creative life is connected with Turkey, where the collection Salve was released first and, recently, another book was published by publishing house Babil. I also actively collaborate with the local magazine Shair Chiqmaz.

Salve and Giacomo Ponti were released in Russia, too, where I collaborate with Russian literary magazines such as Aurora and where I have a very nice translator – poet Nikolai Gol.

I have contacts with England, too. In London, Giacomo Ponti and Footsteps on Water were published, the latter being the analogue of the Italian Echo.

Genoa International Poetry Festival of 2003 is what I consider to be a starting point of my relationship with Italy. Several of my rhymes were translated for this event into Italian by the literary worker Nunu Geladze who lives in Milan. I found myself alongside such names as Wole Soyinka, Tonino Guerra, Yevgeny Evtushenko and Bernard Noel. They got interested by my creative works and very soon my collaboration with the publisher Fabricio Facari was capped with the Italian translation of the collection Salve. The latter was reviewed by Guerra. Later, I published Giacomo Ponti in Italian which was then brought into the curriculum of the Don Bosko School itself on the initiative of Juliano Ladolf.

You are a member of the International Association of Poets and Artists of the USA, as well as a member of the World Academy for Poetry, and owner of numerous awards including the medal of the Pope of Rome. Does such public acclaim imply additional poetic responsibility?

The responsibility arrives as soon as your first line is published, and it is of course much bigger when it comes to the international spotlight. However, my biggest victory is when my compatriot shares something that I have felt and discovered. Nevertheless, I have never felt myself to be remote from the world in spite of the fact that I have always been a citizen of the country that was not fully involved in international relations.

I believe that no matter what degree of political independence a country might have, the art world has no boundaries. Aiming to find readers, the English poet will face the same route as the French one. Human beings understand each other well and if the necessary charge is there, representatives of all continents can reach out their voices to us.

The artistic word is not merely a means of self-expression. What about your words?

Art is born from compassion and not from self-esteem. Epatage, being upstart and getting involved in the fashionable trends is just an easy way to reach a temporary popularity.

A word serves the search for truth. One follows one’s destiny, determining it himself/herself, and in this struggle between the transient world and an individual, your own searching route for truth is cut out.

Which are the values that we can count on?

In the modern world, not only in Georgia, but elsewhere, the universe is losing soulfulness and contentedness. The political and elite conjunctures define what to draw attention to, something that is so easy in our era thanks to technologies and communications. However, I also have a feeling that the birth of a new epoch will return the moral, eternal values and Mankind will come to a great agreement – an era of big concordat has begun.

Europe is a very deep and multicolored world where the citizens are no less faithful to the eternal values than us, and they serve the system of those values that renaissance stipulates. We are not only going back to our home – Europe, but the latter itself is getting back to that inner world and soulfulness that was so amply present in European Renaissance.

As a matter of fact, the human history of restraint from instinct has turned it from primitive society into a history of culture. Why was a human being restraining itself? What kind of values and spirituality did he/she create and how? All these things shape the character of national cultures. However, as a counterbalance to it, a great “freeing” has emerged. A human being decided to find freedom from everything and it turned out that he/she, on behalf of non-complexness and progressivity, began to move towards the primitive instincts again. Perhaps Georgian society is strong enough not to free itself from freedom by maintaining its traditions and history of culture nowadays? In this way, we will be attractive and interesting for Europe.

What is your opinion about the popularization of culture?

As it is useless to try to popularize Georgian wine by falsified wine production, the same goes with the pulp fiction and worthless translation – it will do no good and bring no respect to the Georgian literature and culture. In my opinion, there has always been and there still is an appropriate resource for the proper presentation of Georgian culture in the universe.

Irma Kakhurashvili

03 March 2016 17:42