Kolau Nadiradze

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Kolau Nadiradze (Georgian: კოლაუ ნადირაძე) (24 February 1895 – 28 October 1990) was a Georgian poet and the last representative of Georgian Symbolist school.

Born and initially educated at Kutaisi, Georgia (then part of the Russian Empire), he studied law at the University of Moscow from 1912 to 1916. Returning to Georgia, his first verses appeared in 1916 in Georgian symbolist journal tsisperi kantsebi ("Blue Horns"). The poem Dreaming of Georgia (ოცნება საქართველოზე, 1916) marked him as one of the promising poets of his generation. He quickly came under the influence of modernism, particularly Emile Verhaeren, and emerged as one of the leading figures within the Georgian symbolist Blue Horns group. His early poetry was marked by a Calvarian vision of Georgia: just before its short-lived independence (1918-1921) as well as after the 1921 Bolshevik invasion. Despite his roots in the past, Nadiradze’s ability to avoid overt political themes enabled them to adapt to Communist ideological requirements less traumatically than did other Blue Horns. Nevertheless, in the purge of 1937, Nadiradze was arrested along with the fellow symbolist writer Sergo Kldiashvili, but both of them were saved only by chance: their NKVD interrogator was himself arrested and the files mislaid.

Under the Soviet Union, Nadiradze chiefly wrote patriotic poetry and prose, and translated Pushkin, Bunin, Bal'mont, Blok, Verlaine and Isaakian. In the perestroika years, already in his nineties, the poet regained the freedom of his early years and published what he had suppressed seventy years before, notably 25 February (25 თებერვალი) a short reaction to the Bolshevik takeover in 1921, which he compared to Golgotha set up by a group of Judases.[1]


  1. ^ Rayfield, Donald (2000), The Literature of Georgia: A History: 2nd edition, pp. 243-4. Routledge, ISBN 0-7007-1163-5.