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

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Colour Of Pomegranates Limited Edition Blu-ray And Special Screening At ICA

Sergei Parajanov’s celebrated masterwork The Colour Of Pomegranates paints an astonishing portrait of the 18th century Armenian poet Sayat Nova, the ‘King of Song’ and now arrives on Blu-ray for the first time, presented in a stunning new restoration by Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation World Cinema Project and Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, in association with the National Cinema Centre of Armenia and Gosfilmofond of Russia.

The film arrives as The Colour Of Pomegranates Limited Edition Box Set, a luxury two-disc collector’s set on Blu-ray complete with a 112-page perfect-bound book, a host of brand new special features, archive material, short film, documentaries and both the Armenian and Russian versions of the film. It arrives on 29 January 2018.

There will be a special screening of the film on January 27th at 4.15pm at the ICA, introduced by Daniel Bird.Please see the link here.

Embassy Screenings