ANA KALANDADZE’S "I AM THE SUN OF THE DEAD"
Those born from the earth will finally be called on by the earth; Temporary adopted by life, we will not be able to take even a glimpse of the world, when our mother-earth will call us; She will call us to hold us tightly in her chest and never let us go again;
It took Ana Kalandadze a total of sixteen lines to convey this pattern of life and death in a poem.
It is noteworthy that these sixteen lines are encoded from the beginning to the end. Encoded is both its title, as well as its in-depth, secondary layer subtext.
Here we are dealing with a phenomenon in which we must first decipher the metaphorical meaning of each word-expression and then the secondary, profound underlying content of that metaphor or allegoric symbol.
The alliterations "Skhivmimkrtali"(flickering) and "Skhivmikvdari" - (dimming) refer to a person, long gone from adolescence and adulthood, weakened by old age, in whose eyes the sun (a symbol of life in this particular case) has disappeared.
In this dual-coded poetic masterpiece by Ana Kalandadze, each phrase or expression requires an explanation. Therefore, we cannot dwell only on the primary, superficial metaphor, here the main thing is to discern the underlying layer, the secondary, encoded metaphor.
Thus, in the very first lines of the verse we read:
“On the border, border of two countries I stand,
Oh, my heart, why are you closing?
Judging from the primary metaphor, standing on the border of two countries, or imagining oneself as "the sun of the dead," means being at the crossroads of day and night, while its profound implication relates to the fact that the lyrical character is in the same state that we discussed in the previous paragraph, that is, "standing on the border of two countries" meaning that we are constantly on the verge of “Being Here and Being There”, especially the elderly who have reached old age and are in the “ twilight” stage of their lives.
The condition of a man, weakened by old age, forces him to succumb to pessimism, because he is constantly awaiting death and, whether he wants it or not, is aware that the grip of death cannot be avoided , and this most dreadful expectation is naturally accompanied by the fear of the unknown world.
The second line creates a contrast in the poem: `Oh, my heart, why are you closing?
The usage of dialectic "risad ~ (or why?)"indicates that the lyrical hero is clearly scolding himself. It is true that he, that is the setting sun of the dead is at the border of life and death ("the border of two countries"), but he also realizes that he has no right to be pessimistic. "Setting of the sun" and imminent death do not mean final disappearance, because the end of one person's life will be followed by the birth of another, new life.
Thus, the poet wants to emphasize that life is eternal and death is predetermined by the creator, because life, like nature, must be constantly renewed and resurrected. This is evidenced by the phrases: "I am the flickering, dimming sun of the dead,In my rays, the sparrows are rejoicing... ~"
In the text, "Rejoicing of sparrows" refers to the young, vibrant life of the next generation, which is to emerge from the seed of the "dimming sun" ancestor and continue his hereditary line of succession.
Naturally, life is inherited by all mortals, as evidenced by the following phrase: `Dry seeds left over on the branches of the rose, The sparrows peck them up and then the sparrows flee… a ~. Here the rose branch symbolizes the existence of a man once full of life and beauty, whose already vanishing line of life (`dry seeds ') must be continued by his descendants (` The sparrows peck them up and then the sparrows flee…').
It is this sense of joy caused by the reproduction of heredity that gives the lyrical hero grounds for optimism and dispels the painful sense of the inevitability of death.
Old age is always accompanied by the bliss of the birth of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, who should continue the family line and strengthen the nation, perpetuate the life of the ancestors and preserve their memory. Therefore, the last period of life is no longer perceived as a tragedy, and this is the main attitude of the lyrical protagonist. The fear of eternal disappearance is slowed down by the joy of the birth of new life. Thus a lethal event ("dry seed") becomes another one, nourishing a new life.
Such is the dual metaphor of Ana Kalandadze's poem, which has the same beginning and the end. This is what the poet needs in order to intensify the emotion, to add more artistry to the text, to voice it with more polyphony, and, most importantly, to remind us once again that death, like the setting of the sun, does not mean the final disappearance-destruction. "Setting of the sun" will inevitably be followed by the birth-resurrection of a new life, which will lead to eternity.