Tbilisi: Sovnarkhoz, 1922. Octavo (21 × 14.7 cm). Original staple-stitched orange printed wrappers;  pp. Signed and inscribed to front wrapper by Grishashvili. Light wear to the fragile wrappers; still about very good. Item #6426
First Russian translation of these early poems by Ioseb Grishashvili (born Mamulaishvili, 1889–1965), the Georgian poet and literary historian. These early texts have symbolist leanings and are distinguished by their musicality. From the 1930s onward Grishashvili wrote progressively less poetry, switching to literary history and scholarship instead. Most notable among these translations are two poems, “Perchatki” (Gloves) and “Maridzhan,” translated by Osip Mandel’shtam in 1920, during his first, and accidental, trip to Georgia. While traveling through the Crimea in 1920, he was arrested by the White Army and accused of spying for the Bolsheviks. Miraculously cleared of the charges, the poet was put on a barge to Georgia where he was befriended by two major Georgian poets, Titian Tabidze and Paolo Iashvilli, who knew of his fame. The poets also translated a number of Mandel’shtam’s poems into Georgian. In return, Mandel’shtam translated several poems by Titian Tabidze, Valerian Gaprindashvili, Georgii Leonidze, and the two poems by Iosif Grishashvili, selecting the poems for their sonic qualties. Kolau Nadiradze, the elder of the Georgian poets of that time, in his memories of his meetings with Mandel’shtam wrote: “Mandel’shtam listened to Georgian poems as if they were music, asked to read them more slowly, highlighting the melody and did not always ask about their content. The sound of some of them enchanted him so much that he tried to memorize them in the original.” It was not until his second visit in 1921 that Mandel’shtam met Grishashvili in person and gifted him two of his books, Kamen and Tristia. Other translations in the volume are by the poets N. Bobyrev, Sergei Gorodetskii and Maridzhan, the Georgian poetess who was romantically linked with Grishashvili and to whom one of the poems in this collection is dedicated. Not in Seslavinskii. KVK, OCLC only show the copy at Princeton.