A Poet’s Lives with Lyn Coffin

Update from Georgia

Editor:  Scot Bastian and I attended a reading of the new anthology of Forty-Two Pacific Northwest Poets titled MANY TRAILS TO THE SUMMIT by Rose Alley Publications this past Friday evening at the Elliot Bay Book Store.  (What a sentence!  And a good reading to boot…)  Of course, our own Lyn Coffin was included.  

And Lyn Says: ” I’m having a great time here. Busy reading poetry, lecturing, translating. he night before last was my big poetry event. I read at a gallery and my cohort read his Georgian translations= 12 poems of mine, all from Crystal of the Unforeseen. He’s hoping to publish the Georgian version of this, My book of Orten translations is due out (print and electronic) in April. Today, I meet the head of the English Department at Ilia University for tea. And last night, I saw my first Georgian play. I understood about 3 per cent of the text, maybe less, but about five per cent of the play. I would catch one word, tsoli (wife) for example and by the actions, gestures, knew he was asking her to marry him. I caught “visa” and knew it was so she could get a visa. They had a big pad on the wall with numbers, beginning with 100- how many days she had left before she would return to sakartvelo (Georgia) The Georgian language has no capitals and no personal pronouns of gender- they use “iss” for third person plural, and you have to figure out he, she, or it. Plus there are at least five sounds I can’t really make- a ყ which is sort of like the french rolled “r” but is transliterated as “gh” and a bunch of rather gutteral, back in the throat “ch”s-” On the other hand, Georgian always is as it’s spell- no threw and through.
I’m learning a lot. I’m beginning to understand snatches of conversation on the street. That’s always really exciting. In self-defense I’ve learned the phrase, “You’re very kind, but it isn’t true.” (The Georgians are extravagant with their compliments. And they love America. They all want to come to the US because “there you are so free.”)” 

P. S.  გამარჯoბათ! ( I think Georgian looks not a little like elvish)  – Lyn

Scot Bastian and I Can Be Seen Attending Many Art Events Around Town

 

Photo by Lynn Nelson

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