Georgii Leonidze

Leonidze, Georgii Nikolaevich


Born Dec 15 (27), 1899, in the village of Patardzeuli, now in Sagaredzho Raion; died Aug. 9, 1966, in Tbilisi. Soviet Georgian poet. People’s Poet of Georgia (1959); academician of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR (1944). Member of the CPSU since 1945.

Leonidze became a student at the Tbilisi Seminary in 1913. His first works were published in 1911. His early lyric poetry had a patriotic orientation. He joined the Blue Horns, a group of Georgian symbolists, in 1918 but abandoned symbolism a few years later. In 1924 and 1925, Leonidze created such significant works of lyric poetry as “Ninotsminda Night,” “Kipchak With His Date,” and Guinea Fowl. By the late 1920’s, socialist realism had appeared in Leonidze’s poetry—for example, “Night Near the Zemo-Avchala Hydroelectric Power Plant” and “Along the Banks of the Iori”.

In the 1930’s, Leonidze wrote about his contemporaries, about a reborn Georgia, and about friendship between peoples. He also wrote an epic poem on J. V. Stalin’s early years, Childhood and Youth (1939; State Prize of the USSR, 1941). During the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45, Leonidze turned his poetic talents to the military and labor achievements of the Soviet people. He also depicted historical events and illustrious forebears—for example, the narrative poems Portokhala, (1951; State Prize of the USSR, 1952) and Samgori (1950).

Heroic and romantic inspiration, national elements, and dignified restraint in lyrical intonation are the distinguishing features of Leonidze’s poetry. Late in his life he published The Magic Tree (1962; Russian translation, 1965), a collection of short stories. He was director of the Sh. Rustaveli Institute of Georgian Literature of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR (1957–66). Leonidze was awarded two Orders of Lenin, the Order of the Red Banner of Labor, and various medals.


[Leonize, G.] T’xzulebat’a krebuli ek’vs tomad, vols. 1–2. Tbilisi, 1962–63.
Axlos moici, samshoblos gulo: Lek’sebi. Tbilisi, 1970.
In Russian translation:
Stikhi, poemy. Moscow, 1960.
Stikhi. Preface by N. Tikhonov. Tbilisi, 1969.


Margvelashvili, G. Georgii Leonidze. Tbilisi, 1959.
Xerxeulize, G. Giorgi Leonazis poezia. Tbilisi, 1959.