Beginning to Speak
Publisher: The Poetry Translation Centre
Featured poets: Diana Anphimiadi
Featured translators: Jean Sprackland, Natalia Bukia-Peters
Scrambled thoughts become crow-songs perched on a wire. Famous women from Greek myth speak frankly - upside-down, headless, from beyond the grave. The five senses tussle on the page, among cats and fish and chandeliers. Eating and bathing offer a glimpse of the eternal. In Beginning to Speak, Georgian poet Diana Anphimiadi repeatedly makes the world unfamiliar with the flick of a pen, demonstrating why she is one of her country’s outstanding contemporary poets. The poems in this selection have been translated into English by leading Georgian translator Natalia Bukia-Peters, working with the award-winning British poet Jean Sprackland.
"As I was reading Beginning to Speak, I often thought of Keats’ poetry, which sometimes has a synaesthetic element, experiencing one sense via another. Anphimiadi uses a similar scrambling technique to explore disabled experience. In ‘Braille’, for example, colour and sound are conflated...This synaesthetic effect was intensified by having the original Georgian poem printed on the opposite page. I couldn’t read the original, but the letters of the Georgian alphabet are so beautiful that I caught myself running my fingers over the words, imagining I could read them through touch."
- Nell Prince, Sphinx
Size: 216 x 138mm, 40 pages
Languages: Georgian, English