As the first month of spring slowly comes to an end, on Thursday 27th April, 18.45 at Asia House Donald Rayfield remembers Georgian poet Nikoloz Baratashvili  (1817-1845). On the occasion of his 200th birth anniversary, Donald Rayfield Emeritus Professor of Russian and Georgian at Queen Mary University of London will give a talk, A Poet Is Born: Nikolaz Baratashvili. For further information and tickets go to the Asia House website.

“I found shelter in a temple that stood in the desert,

Lit by an icon lamp that would never fade.

I heard heaven’s seraphim sing a descant

To David’s harp that the angels played.

A pilgrim in this world, perturbed and weary,

I then resolved to stay there and find rest.

The icon lamp’s celestial radiance cheered me,

By fickle fortune and by human spite depressed.

I offered up pure love, for want of incense,

And consecrated it deep in my heart and soul.

I was so full of sweet and blissful innocence,

I thought I saw a heavenly realm made whole.

The vanishing of joys was ever quicker:

The temple disappeared; the desert ceased to speak.

Now in my heart bliss did not even flicker,

My prospects were instead grim, desolate and bleak.

The temple’s every trace had instantaneously vanished:

Had it fallen victim to time’s malicious eye?

No! The temple loathed a world, treacherous, lying, tarnished.

All I had left was the lamp’s extinguished fire.

Love had failed to restore to me a trace of the temple.

Nowhere could I relight the icon lamp forlorn.

Consolation’s door, slammed in my face by devils,

Left me a roaming pilgrim and a homeless orphan.”

 Nikoloz Baratashvili (1843), translated by Donald Rayfield

Latest News

The Rustaveli Day at the Royal Asiatic Society, 11 November 2019

The Rustaveli Day will be held at 6.30pm on the 11 November 2019 at the Royal Asiatic Society (14 Stephenson Way, London, NW1 2HD). This year we continue with the Anglo-Georgian connection series and discover the fascinating stories of Princess Tamara Imeretinsky, a Bagrationi of Imereti in exile; and Michael Aramyants, a prominent Tbilisi industrialist and philanthropist. The event will be followed by Georgian wine and canapes. 

BGS Annual General Meeting, 20 November 2019

British Georgian Society is holding its AGM on 20 November at the London Scottish House (95 Horseferry Road, SW1P 2DX). Doors open at 6.15 for a 6.30 start. After the business part of the meeting our speaker will be Edward Marr who will present a talk on his ancestor and Nicholai Marr and his Scottish roots. Georgian wine and nibbles will be provided. 

Forthcoming Events

Embassy Screenings