restricted access First Utterance
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First Utterance1
Translated by Shota Papava and Harsha Ram

To the poets of Georgia,To all dreamers,To the people of Georgia!Heed our sermon one and all!

Fatally for many, we were born in a country warmed by an impure sun, where people have lost the beauty of courage.

We have appeared in a new garb of light to illuminate Georgia’s obscure essence, and to those who have been deprived of their dreams we show the hallowed way to the blue temple of the future. The lovely nymphs have raised the curtain on our stage and we, the gold-clad actors of renewal, sing before a people deprived of light. Our first utterance is like poison. Like boiling steel it will burn your heart, you the enemies of the artist most holy, who do not believe in the artist’s reign, who do not declare your allegiance before his lofty throne. Our proud dream has outstripped every boundary, and where we have gathered as immortal brothers to glorify the new beauty, we see how every minute of an exalted life gladdens our chivalrous nature. Like the heart of an enamored queen, Time concealed our luminous secret, but desire descended on golden wings and lifted our song skyward, a song that will henceforth be eternal like our country.

People of Georgia, forgotten, but still worthy of being crowned in glory!Hear our sermon!

We trod nocturnal paths to make a bonfire of the sun for the sake of a country lulled by silence. We encountered your deathless [End Page 317] idols, but burning with pride we refused to offer them our prayers. We had faith that a joyous renewal lay within us and outside us. As we climbed the mountain not a single brother complained of fatigue. Our very eyes astonished us: their brilliance seared the chilly darkness. And when the ruby-colored bonfire was lit, one among us rose up and launched the following confession skyward on fiery wings:

“We glorify the new word, stern and daring like the regal flight of a mad conductor’s hand. The greatest quality of being is pride—may our nation be exalted and may it astonish the world with its self-love. A people that denies its desire for greatness resembles a sick man who has felt the kiss of death and yet awaits his return to life. We have killed fear in its black mantle and sing of chivalry, youth and robust joy. The impossible no longer exists. Heed our unanimous voice and behold the silent door that stands between our country and its happiness. Its veins of iron, sliced by a flaming sword, release a plaintive wail, and lo, happiness, adorned in blue, covers our face in kisses. The realm of fear is darkness—we live in the light. We live in light and intoxication. We favor any kind of orgy. We glorify the beauty of destruction. We reject the past, be it lit by the sun or troubled by the night. We have stripped the golden crown of the past of its precious pearls and flung them into the sea of forgetting.

“Strength to the spirit of the people and to their sickly flesh!

“We, who glorify agitation, raucousness and speed, have forgotten the meaning of calmness, silence, or the beauty that shines in the gentle moonlight. Let he who wishes celebrate the flowers of springtime, the moon, the cozy calm of eventide, the placidity and sweetness of love, the secrets of the forest and birdsong. We want Georgia to transform into a boundless city that never stops dreaming, where the noise of lively streets will replace the emerald glow of fields in bloom.

“The temple where the people have smothered in prayer whatever remained of their vital forces is to us a house of evil. Our glowing hands hold radiant fuses bursting with pride whose red eyes seek the temple’s foundations, that their fire might wrest one last song of death from its filthy walls. Let the people hear it and abandon their beloved house of rest. The bright eyes of our fuses rejoice to behold the temple’s foundations…

“We wish...


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