Born Nov. 6 (18), 1892, in the village of Chkviisi, near Kutaisi; died Mar. 17, 1959, in Tbilisi. Soviet Georgian poet. People’s Poet of the Georgian SSR (1933). Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the Georgian SSR (1944).
The son of a priest who was also a rural schoolteacher, Tabidze studied at the Tbilisi Ecclesiastical Seminary beginning in 1908; he began publishing that same year. In 1914 he published his first verse collection, which brought him fame. He visited Moscow in 1915, where he became acquainted with A. A. Blok, V. Ia. Briusov, and K. D. Bal’mont. In 1916, Tabidze returned to Georgia, where he soon began publishing in the Georgian symbolist journal Golubye rogi (Blue Horns). However, the literary program of the Blue Horns group was alien to him.
Late in 1916, Tabidze again went to Moscow, and then to Petrograd. He was an eyewitness of the October Revolution of 1917, and the impressions of those days recurred again and again in his poetry. For example, in the poem “The Idea” (1923) he wrote about V. I. Lenin and about Smol’nyi, the headquarters of the uprising. The narrative poem John Reed (1924) reflected the events of the revolution.
In 1918, Tabidze returned to Georgia, which at the time was under Menshevik rule. His collection Artistic Poems (1919) reflected the influence of decadent poetry. Tabidze welcomed the victory of Soviet power in Georgia enthusiastically. He wrote prolifically, took part in the literary life of the new republic, and in 1924 helped found the journal Mnatobi (Beacon). In 1928, Tabidze traveled through Russia with the delegates to the Sixth Congress of the Communist International. His travel impressions were reflected in the narrative poem The Epoch (1930).
In honor of the tenth anniversary of the victory of Soviet power in Georgia, Tabidze wrote one of his best works, the narrative poem Revolutionary Georgia (1931). In 1935 he was a delegate to the antifascist congress in Paris; after his return, he published a cycle of poems about the trip. During the Great Patriotic War (1941–45), Tabidze wrote many patriotic poems, including “To Arms, Brothers!”, “We Shall Overcome!”, and “An Alliance of Hearts.” After the war he wrote mainly lyric poetry.
Inseparably linked to the traditions of national literature, Tabidze was also an innovator of poetic form who was profoundly attuned to and inspired by contemporary life. His poems have been translated into many languages of the USSR and into foreign languages. He was awarded the Order of Lenin and the Order of the Red Banner of Labor.
WORKSTabidze, G. Txzulebani 12 tomad, vols. 1–12. Tbilisi, 1966–75.
Rch’euli lirika 2 cignad, books 1–2. Tbilisi, 1971.
Rch’euli. Tbilisi, 1973.
In Russian translation:
Izbrannoe. [Introductory article by S. Chilaia.] Tbilisi, 1953.
Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1956.
Stikhotvoreniia i poemy. Moscow, 1958.
Stikhi. Tbilisi, 1967.
Lirika. Tbilisi, 1973.
REFERENCESChilaia, S. Galaktion Tabidze: Kritiko-biograficheskii ocherk. Moscow, 1958.
Radiani, Sh. Galaktion Tabidze. Tbilisi, 1958.
Margvelashvili, G. Galaktion Tabidze: Ocherk zhizni i tvorchestva. Tbilisi, 1973.
Benashvili, D. Galaktion Tabize: Monograp’ia. Tbilisi, 1972.
Lort‘k‘ip’anize, I. Galaktion Tabize (Bibliograp‘ia, 1910–1973). Tbilisi, 1973.
Chilaia, S. Galaktion Tabize: C‘xovreba da mogvaceoba. Tbilisi, 1973.
N. M. MIKABA