How much is a smile worth?

Copyright Keith Kenney, 2011

Copyright Keith Kenney, 2011

Baratashvili Bridge is also known as “Bridge of Love,” in honor of Georgian romantic poet Nikoloz Baratashvili. On the bridge railings are bronze sculptures of couples “in love.” I’m guessing that one sculpture is called “love gained” and the other “love lost.”

Tbilisi has lots of sculptures and most are delightful, whimsical, and fun. They make me smile. Here is the beginning of one of Nikoloz’s poems about the river which flows under the “Bridge of Love.”


In sadness wrapped, I strolled along where the waters hum and fret;

I longed to rest in solitude and all my cares forget.

And there beside the flowing stream, in utter weariness,
I sank upon the soft green grass and wept in bitterness.

Borne on the sigh that silence heaves the Mtkvari’s murmur rose,

And in its lucid beds the azure skies found sweet repose;

And here beyond the strife of life, beyond all sordid noise,

The mountains brooded over the land in calm unvarying poise.

I listened to the river’s hum, I saw the heavens bend

And kiss the mounts that with my soul and sorrow seemed to blend.

What means your purl, O Mtkvari old, forebodes it joy or woe?

You are witness true of bygone days, yet hum in speechless flow.


About keithrkenney
Keith Kenney is a professor of visual communication at the University of South Carolina. He is living in Tbilisi, Georgia, for a year. This blog is about several topics. "CSJMM-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management in Tbilisi, Georgia. "USC-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications (SJMC) at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. CSJMM and SJMC are recipients of a "Journalism School Partnership" program grant from the US Department of State. The purpose of this $750,000 grant is to improve CSJMM and ensure its sustainability. "Tbilisi, Georgia" is about Susanna Melo and my experiences in Tbilisi. "Columbia, SC" will be about our experiences in our home town--Columbia--when we return home. "Georgia" is about Susanna and my experiences when we travel in Georgia outside of Tbilisi. "United States" is about our experiences traveling in the US. "Films and Photography" is about two documentary films I'm working on in Georgia. One story follows how Adishi handles the rapid tourism that is being developed in Svaneti. The other story follows Tamaz Jalagania, who is a craftsman of swords and guns, an opera singer, and an extraordinary storyteller. "Scholarship" is about my current books, articles, reviews, and grants.

2 Responses to How much is a smile worth?

  1. Good day! I simply would like to give a huge thumbs up for the good information you have got right here
    on this post. I will be coming back to your weblog for extra soon.

    • keithrkenney says:

      You are very kind, thank you. I lived in Tbilisi from August 2011 to July 2012. Now I’m back for a month (June 17 to July 17), so the blog will be active again.

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