Mein Glück


Shota Iatashvili





I’ve tried to turn my individual existence

Into something universal.

I tried so hard.

I toiled day and night.

I came up with a thousand ways.

I turned them all upside-down.

But I failed and failed and failed.

This damned individual existence

Would stay individual anyway.

It was a paralysis impossible to bear.

Go ahead, go! — I would shout at myself

With my beautiful poetic voice.

I would lash myself and step on myself with my feet.

And at the end, finally, it moved.

Heavily but still, it did. Towards the universal.

My individual lurched towards the universal.

There was a long, long way ahead,

But it still lumbered forward.

Move on! — I shouted at times

To make me go faster.

And it would work. It was a miracle.

This gradually faster walking

Towards the universal.

And at the end there was a special gift.



Translated from the Georgian by Lela Samniashvili









Shota Iatashvili was born in 1966 in Tbilisi, Georgia.  He is a poet, fiction writer, translator and art critic.  He has published a significant number of poetry collections, one novel, four works of prose and a book of literary criticism.  In 2007 and 2011 he won the SABA Prize, and in 2020 — LITERA — Georgia’s most prestigious awards, in 2009 International Poetry Award Kievskie Lavri (Ukraina), in 2018 polish literature award of Klemens Janicki for poetry book Golden Ratio and in 2018 Vilenica Crystal Award in Vilenica International Literary Festival (Slovenia).  His works have been translated into English, German, French, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Romanian, Chinese, Russian, Polish, Czech, Slovenian, Swedish, Finnish, Estonian, Latvian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Turkish, Albanian, Armenian, Azerbaijanian etc. languages.  Currently, he is editor-in-chief of the literary journal Akhali Saunje and consultant of Tbilisi International Festival of Literature


Born in 1977 in Gori, Lela Samniashvili is a poet, translator, and doctor of educational sciences.  She got her degrees in English literature and Philosophy of Higher Education from Tbilisi and Oslo Universities.  She was a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley.  She is the author of 6 collections of poetry translated into a number of languages, as well as Georgian translations of works by William Shakespeare, Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf and other English language writers. 



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