Cultural Travel - Georgia

    close to people - close to tradition


Georgian poetry


The first examples of Georgian poetry go back to the 9th century and the written hymnography. In the 12th century Shota Rustaveli wrote his master-piece The Knight in the Tiger's skin, which is regarded as the Georgian national poem. This is an extensive poem touching the major philosophical and human aspects of life. In addition to Rustaveli, the most famous Georgian poets are David Guramishvili, Nikoloz Baratashvili, Ilia Chavchavadze, Vaja Pshavela, Akaki Tsereteli and Galaktion Tabidze.

The tradition to compete in lyrics by challenging and ans-wering each other through lyric improvisations is called "kapiaoba". This is a humoristic way of dialogue where two


people compete to exceed each other in humoristic and sophisticated expressions. "Kapiaoba" is basically performed in the region of Pshav-Khevsureti.

Throughout history there has been a close connection between Georgian folk songs and poetry. Poems were often created through songs or melodies. It has always been a common tool among Georgian poets to let a melody or song be a source of inspiration, creating lyrics to already existing melodies. Consequently one can, in the Georgian folk song tradition, find songs that have different variations with regard to the lyrics.


"The knight in the tiger's skin" by Shota Rustaveli.