Painting of Old Tbilisi‘Tbilisi თბილისი’ by Ralph C. La Rosa The Society January 12, 2019 Culture, Deconstructing Communism, Poetry 6 Comments (1976-1978) In Soviet Georgia, I feel linguistic shock. At first assuming residents speak Russian, I say Nyet, not Ara, igniting discussion of Moscow’s nagging, Russifying clock alarms, as predictable as tick and tock. Zviad says that now the constitution requires Russian for higher education— His dissident friends shout Ara! Ara! and mock. My heartbeats speed in concert with their rage fueling widespread rioting. Their nerve still vital, more than a century in the cage of Russian rule. Ara! They will preserve the mother tongue—as precious as their blood. They win this time and plan to win for good. Russian Nyet: Нет (No) Georgian Ara: არა (No) Note: Georgia thwarted two major Moscow efforts in the late 1970s, and it was the first soviet republic to secede from the USSR. Zviad Gamsakurdia, the leading dissident and my colleague at Tbilisi State University, was arrested soon after the riots of April 1977. Ralph C. La Rosa was a Senior Lecturer in the USSR, Tbilisi State University, SSR of Georgia. His work has been published on line and in print, including the chapbook, Sonnet Stanzas and full-length Ghost Trees. Related Post ‘A Love Sonnet’ by Jan Darling after the style of Petrarch The aching of your leave clings sadly, still And pangs of emptiness I lone endure But slowly I ascend towards love pure... Tell the world:FacebookTwitterTumblrPinterestRedditLinkedInEmail 6 Responses Michael Dashiell January 12, 2019 As an unworldly American, I didn’t quite grasp this particular address of a Russian problem, but what I did understand I enjoyed. Reply Joe Tessitore January 12, 2019 Very timely, this, as we “fight” here in the States to preserve or destroy our southern border. Over 31% of our voting-eligible population must be provided with non-English ballots; more than 61 million people. Reply C.B. Anderson January 13, 2019 How ironic that “The Bear” does not require Communism to be so overbearing. Russia, with or without the institution of the State Farm, is not a good neighbor. Reply Joe Tessitore January 13, 2019 How cool is State Farm/good neighbor? Reply C.B. Anderson January 13, 2019 It’s very cool for anyone who has seen the advertisements on TV. You should know, Joe, that you and I are birds of a feather in many respects. As it happens, I am older than you, but only by a couple of years. The world as we know it rejoices for sexagenarian voices. Joe Tessitore January 14, 2019 Off we fly! Wrinkled, grey and in decline; gone the youth that once was mine. Witless and devoid of rhyme, I am no longer in my prime. Beauty that I do not see; subtleties now lost on me; clouds obscure the setting sun – I shuffle where I used to run. Memories of dancing verse; jumbled thoughts, the aged’s curse. Not so strong as it was then, my trembling hand lays down the pen. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.