On The Contrary

by Lia Sturua, translated by Natalia Bukia Peters and Victoria Field, is the first collection in English from this remarkable Georgian poet. Born in 1939, Lia has lived through tumultuous times, and has always been an innovative, original and inspirational poet, drawing on imagery of music, painting, architecture and the body in her dreamlike work.

About the Author

Lia Sturua, born in Tbilisi in 1939, is one of Georgia’s most important poets. She was among the first to use free verse alongside traditional forms, and throughout her long career, she has been an inspiration to younger poets. This collection presents a selection of recent work chosen by Lia herself. These are vivid and dreamlike poems evoking inner and outer worlds simultaneously. The poet constantly questions the role played by the arts, whether painting, music or poetry itself, in our endeavours to be fully human. She sets this against a world of questions and uncertainties. In these new translations, Natalia Bukia-Peters and Victoria Field open a window for us into the remarkable poetry of Georgia, and this poet in particular.

On The Contrary by Lia Sturua

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Sample Poems

from ‘Where Are You Now?’

Red wine’s warming cold crystal, come on, let’s dine on Flemish Old Masters!

I’ll spread my tired flesh on the chair. You’ll hang your soul in the air and I’ll ask you, who are you now?

Are you the wind carrying a bird’s bouquet to God?

Are you the heavy burden of grief that broke your back, but in reality, had no weight?

… from ‘It Warms Me So Deeply’ I don’t know how trees love each other, nor do I know how they surrender to spring, nor do I know anything about pain, either.

They give birth to greens without hesitation, which I can only do by mixing yellow and blue….

The following are all out of print but widely available from second-hand online bookshops.

  • Keeping House by Bill Mycock (2004) ISBN13 9780954498023
  • Olga’s Dreams by Victoria Field (2004) ISBN13 9780954498009
  • Dear Shadows by D. M. Thomas (2004) ISBN13 9780954498016
  • Sleeping In The Rain (2004) ISBN13 9780954498030
  • Once in a Blue Moon by Angela Stoner (2005) ISBN13 9780954498047
  • Seiriol the Dragon by Dominic Power (2006) ISBN13 9780954498061
  • The Devil and the Floral Dance by D. M. Thomas (2006) ISBN13 9780954498054
  • Many Waters: Poems from Ten Months at Cornwall’s Cathedral by Victoria Field (2006) ISBN13 9780954498078
  • Prompted to Write: Three Years of Words for Well-Being in Cornwall by Zeeba Ansari & Victoria Field (2007/2010) ISBN13 9780955566127
  • Knights of Love: After the “Lais of Marie de France” by Jane Tozer (2007) ISBN13 9780954498085
  • The Gift by Victoria Field (2007) ISBN13 9780955566103
  • October Guests by Caroline Carver, Penelope Shuttle & Victoria Field (2009) ISBN13 9780955566110
  • Giacomo Ponti by Dato Magradze (2012) ISBN13 9780955566134
  • Climbing the Sky in Colours by Victoria Field (2014) ISBN13 9780955566141
  • Footprints on Water by Dato Magradze (2015) ISBN13 9780955566158