The Georgian poet Rati Amaghlobeli published his first poems while still studying philosophy at the University of Tbilisi. Since when collections have appeared at regular intervals, he has been a welcome guest at international festivals, has collaborated closely with producers of electronic music and is one of the most exuberant of Georgian podium poets.
Rati Amaghlobeli is the dervish of contemporary Georgian poetry. His sonorous poems have an incantatory feel. Mostly, the words swirl in a spiral round one or two sounds. Admittedly, this poet tries out the borderline between sound and meaning, but he never goes so far as to reduce a poem to mere sound. He is extremely inventive in seeking a form for his poems. At times he makes use of lists – as in the long stream of culinary words in ‘But ‘The harvest of Cain or the death of logic’ is also OK’. At other times he reverts to a poetic form launched by a Georgian king-poet of the 16th century: an ode to the alphabet, in which all the letters of the alphabet are gone through and woven into the fabric of the poem. That is what he does in the poem ‘Sequentia’.
Despite his young age, his poetry would seem to run counter to present tendencies. His work is characterised by oriental elements such as musicality and the quest for love, belief and spirituality. He invariably rhymes in his poetry and eagerly plays with the rules of the sonnet and other poetic forms. Nor does he shy from using archaic words and is unabashed in addressing the beloved or God.
zmna (‘Verb’) (2000)
Tu (‘If’) (2003)
wre (‘Circle’) (2005)
Rati Amaghlobeli on Lyrikline
[Rati Amaghlobeli took part in the Poetry International Festival Rotterdam 2007.
This text was written on that occasion.]