Galaktion Tabidze  (გალაკტიონ ტაბიძე)




Galaktion Tabidze  გალაკტიონ ტაბიძე

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* 06.11.1891, Chqvishi , Georgia
17.03.1959, Tbilisi, Georgia

Galaktion Tabidze, born in 1891 in Tkvishi and often simply referred to as Galaktioni, was the most influential and popular modern Georgian poet. He was one of the founders of the avant-garde writers group the Blue Horns and his writings profoundly influenced all subsequent generations of Georgian poets.

From 1900-1910 he attended the Tbilisi Spiritual Seminary and later worked as a teacher. His first poems were strongly influenced by the French Symbolists and his first book was published in 1914 and quickly attracted attention. Later in 1919, after his second book  Crâne aux fleurs artistiques Galaktion was named "genius Galaktion" and "the king of poets" and he became the leading Georgian poet for several decades. 

 photo © private
Isolation, lovelessness, and nightmarish presentiments are the major topic of his writings. While many of his family, friends and fellow writers died during Stalin's Great Purge, starting in the 1930s, Tabidze survived but retreated into isolation. His first wife Olga Okudzhava, the love of his life, was exiled to Siberia where she died in 1944 and Tabidze plunged into depression and alcoholism. On 17 of March 1959 he committed suicide.  His funeral was attended by tens of thousands. 

Tabidze wrote more than one thousand poems that have been translated into several languages such as Russian, French, English, and German.

In spite of his fame he spent most of his life in poverty and loneliness. He was married twice and had no children.