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Giorgi Leonidze
Giorgi Leonidze
Giorgi Leonidze (1899-1966) was Georgian poet, writer and literary critic. After finishing the Tbilisi Spiritual Seminary in 1918, Giorgi Leonidze became an editor of handwritten magazines Gvirgvili and Panduri, which were produced by the Seminary. In the 1930s he initiated the founding of the Mtatsminda Museum of Writers, later transformed into the Georgian Museum of Literature, which he headed for many years. It was Giorgi Leonidze’s another brilliant initiative to open a museum in Saguramo, the estate of Ilia Chavchavadze. In 1951-1953 he was chosen to chair the Georgian Writers’ Union, and in 1957-1966 he was the head of the Shota Rustaveli Institute of Georgian Literature.
 
His first poem MTSKHETA appeared in 1911, and since 1912 his poems were published regularly. In 1918 Giorgi Leonidze became closely involved with the Blue Horns, a group of young Georgian symbolist writers united by their aspiration to transfer modernism onto the Georgian soil and introduce new versification techniques.
 
Giorgi Leonidze’s lyrical poems in general, especially his NINOTSMINDA NIGHT; THE SONG OF THE FIRST SNOW; KIPCHAK’S NIGHT; OLEAND OTHER MASTERPIECES determined his leading role in the Georgian poetry of the 20th century. Very importantly, he is the author of literary studies into the Georgian past, which was reflected in his lyrical cycle of poems KARTLIS TSKHOVREBA (Life of Kartli), giving insight into the tragic life of a small nation. His deeply patriotic poems dedicated to the bravery and tragic fate of the WW2 soldiers have long become folk songs.
 
Giorgi Leonidze is buried in the Mtatsminda Pantheon of Writers and Public Figures.
 
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