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My Soldier Husband by Salome Benidze

Featuring: Salome Benidze, Natalia Bukia-Peters, Helen Mort

This is the final poem in Salome Benidze’s chapbook ‘I wanted to ask you’, a lament which contains both prayer and secular invocation. In ‘My Soldier Husband’, a woman longs for her husband’s return from the war that has ravaged her country. Imploring him, and trying to console herself, the speaker describes a heightened sensitivity that might well describe Salome’s poetics:

When you’ve survived bullets and ghosts
the smell of cotton sheets is all the sweeter

Salome’s poems explore the dramatic historical and social changes of Georgia’s recent history, as they map out very personal stories of life and love. They are conveyed in a rich and Romantic language, and yet speak to the living moment. In its exemplary construction as well as its subject matter, her work is a call for women’s voices to be taken more seriously.

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