Tabidze Galaktion 1892 - 1959 (67)

Glory to those with souls devoid of fear, Who for the people's cause did bravely die…


The Moon over

Galaktion Tabidze (November 17, 1892 - March 17, 1959) was a Georgian poet who created his own world of poetry, rendering in a special way the beauty of the Georgian language. He was called the king of poets in Georgia, his writings profoundly influenced all subsequent generations of Georgian poets.

His father was an official and public figure, who died unexpectedly at a young age, before Galaktion was born. HIs mother send him at the age of 8 to a religious school and at the age of 10 he was transferred to the Theological Academy of Tbilisi. He left the academy before graduating and started working as a teacher in one of the rural schools; at the same time he was writing poems.

Tabinje's first book was published in 1914 and his second in 1919. These collections of poetry brought him great fame. In 1916, his poems were published in one of the most popular magazines called "The Blue Horns. In 1915 he married while there was another woman in his life who had inspired him with some of his first love poems. Despite the success of his poems, Tabidje did not make enough money and had serious financial problems.

During the tragic event of 1921-1924 in Georgia, when the country was invaded by the Russian army, he wrote the great poem entitled "Memories of the days when lightning struck". All copies of the magazine with that poem were destroyed by the Bolsheviks and the poet was imprisoned.

In 1933, however, Galaktion received the official title of "Popular Writer" and the 25 years of his literary activity were celebrated at the Tbilisi Opera. In 1936 he was awarded the Order of Lenin. In 1937, during the Stalinist terror, his wife was arrested and exiled to Siberia. She returned to Tbilisi several years later but she was arrested again, sentenced to life in prison and eventually executed. The letters they wrote while they were apart are indicative of their pain and love in those difficult times.

After several years, Galaktion had a close relationship with another woman, and he had a second marriage with another, but he was unwell by the circumstances and the political situation; many of his friends and fellow writers had been executed by Stalin's purges. Himself, he had been interrogated and tortured by the KGB but had been released. He gradually plunged into depression and alcoholism. He was admitted to a psychiatric hospital in Tbilisi in 1959, where on March 17, 1959, he committed suicide by jumping out of his window.