Biography of Akaki Tsereteli
Prince Ak'ak'i Tsereteli (June 9, 1840-January 26, 1915) was a prominent Georgian poet and national liberation movement figure.
He was born in the village of Skhvitori (Imereti region of western Georgia) on June 9, 1840 to the prominent Georgian aristocratic family. His father was Prince Rostom Tsereteli. Following the old tradition Ak'ak'i Tsereteli spent his childhood years in the village of Savane in a peasant’s family and was brought up by a peasant nanny, all of which made him feel empathy for the peasants’ life in Georgia.
He graduated from the Kutaisi Gymnasium in 1852 and the University of Saint Petersburg Faculty of Oriental Languages in 1863.
Prince Akaki Tsereteli was a close friend of Prince Ilia Chavchavadze , Georgian progressive intellectual youth leader. The generation of the 1860s, led by Ch'avch'avdze and Tsereteli, protested against the Tsarist regime and campaigned for cultural revival and self-determination of the Georgians.
1915 photograph taken during the funeral of Ak'ak'i Tsereteli in Tbilisi
He is an author of hundreds of patriotic, historical, lyrical and satiric poems, also humoristic stories and autobiographic novel. Ak'ak'i Tsereteli was involved actively in educational, journalistic and theatrical activities.
The famous Georgian folk song Suliko (full English version) is based on Ak'ak'i Tsereteli’s lyrics.
He died on January 26 1915 and was buried at the Mtatsminda Pantheon in Tbilisi.
Akaki Tsereteli Poems
A tiny hut that seems to be From far away a swallows nest Stands high upon a mountain steep; And nestles closely to its breast.
In pensive thought the Holy Mount Upon the star of morn does gaze, As o'er the valiant hero's grave The star sheds soft and misty rays.
The swallow twittered, shrill and gay, -Arriving from across the main. 'This spring!' 'This spring!' it called to me;
O where are you, my sylvan reed, Whose notes of sadness sweetly ring; And over the heart of Georgia's son
Who Can Count The Sand In Oceans?
Who can count the sand in oceans, Or the stars in skies at night? Who can praise the sons of Georgia Men who fought for Georgia's right?
'In vain I sought my loved one's grave; Despair plunged me in deepest woe. Overwhelmed with bursting sobs I cried: O where are you, my Suliko?'
Song Of Natela
I gently strung my chonguri, And tuned its chords with softness low, Till every string rang harmony… Odela-dela-delao!
A tiny hut that seems to be
From far away a swallows nest
Stands high upon a mountain steep;
And nestles closely to its breast.
Though frosts may bite and sunbeams scorch,
And thunders roar or lightning flash,
The hut stands sheltered midst the clouds
Above the tempests' rage and crash.