Vol. 40 (2019)
Poetical Studies

Benedikt Ledebur’s Crown of Sonnets “The Windmill” in Georgian

Published 2020-10-20


  • Lulu Dadiani,
  • Benedikt Ledebur,
  • Ilia Zdanevich,
  • Crown of Sonnets

How to Cite

Barbakadze, T. (2020). Benedikt Ledebur’s Crown of Sonnets “The Windmill” in Georgian . Literary Researches, 40, 74–81. Retrieved from https://literaryresearches.litinstituti.ge/index.php/literaryresearches/article/view/3892


A Crown of Sonnets emerged in Georgian poetry in the seventies of the 20th century. In 1975 the first garland of sonnets published almost simultaneously was written by Lado Seidishvili (Races of the Centaurs) and Anzor Salukvadze (The Crown of Sonnets brought to the Grave of the Unknown Soldier). Valerian Gaprindashvili with regret noted in his well known essay “The Problem of Sonnet” (1919) that despite serious fascination with sonnet, none of the Georgian poets dared to compose it during the 10-20s of the 20th century.

Fortunately, at the end of the 10s of the 21st century the first Georgian translation of the crown of sonnets finally appeared. The famous translator Lulu Dadiani seriously took on the translation of this most complex type of the fixed verse form: as was mentioned, The Windmill by Benedikt Ledebur has already come out and the of the crown of sonnets The Silent Sentence by Ilia Zdanevich is ready for publication.

Benedikt Ledebur dedicated a crown of sonnets The Windmill to his partner, Georgian artist Tamuna Sirbiladze who died prematurely (1971-2016). “The name of the modern German poet, translator and philosopher, Benedikt Ledebur is already known to Georgian readers. In 2011 a book of his poems and essays entitled The Cubes was published in Georgian. He was also a thematic author of the July 2015 issue of the Akhali Saunje. As a scholar, he participated in the International Conference at the Ilia State University” (Akhali Saunje, April 2018, No. 4). Benedict Ledebur’s crown of the sonnets is a sad artifact, marked not only by cultural with Georgia as an author, but also his personal relation (Ledebur 2018:77).

A Wreath of Sonnets The Windmill or Beads of Grief (Dante Alighieri) is composed of 15 sonnets or amber beads, 14 of which are the same and one is distinct: Benedikt Ledebur’s crown of sonnets The Windmill is traditionally composed of 14 main sonnets and the last -15, consists of a “trunk”. The 15th sonnet is created by combining the final line of the preceding sonnet and is a kind of memory, an echo of the soundtrack of the already voiced stanzas, an attempt to grab a musical phrase.

When translating a crown of sonnets, Lulu Dadiani naturally took into account Georgian tradition of choosing a sonnet meter and, hence, the so-called sonnets of Benedict Ledebur are translated using “Besikuri” 14-syllabic (5/5/5) meter and a crown of the sonnets of Zdanevich is translated with a symmetric ten-syllable line (5/5).