Lado Asatiani

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Lado Asatiani in 1938

Vladimir (Lado) Asatiani (Georgian: ვლადიმერ [ლადო] ასათიანი) (14 January 1917 – 23 June 1943) was a Georgian poet. His poetic career, lasting only for seven years, made him one of the best-loved Georgian poets of the 20th century.

Lado Asatiani was born in Kutaisi and graduated from that city's pedagogical institute in 1938. In 1939, Asatiani — ill of tuberculosis — was conscripted to the Soviet Red Army, but was soon dismissed because of his illness. He debuted in the Georgian press in 1936 and had his first poetic collection published in 1941. His career flourished shortly after Lavrenti Beria's bloody crackdown on Georgian writers. Protected by his fatal illness, Asatiani was one of the fewest, who managed to escape constraints of Stalinist ideology. His poetry, using lively colloquial Georgian with a touch of irony, a celebrated everyday pleasures and innocuous hedonism, tributes to friends, to Georgia and its classic poets. After the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, when Soviet poets were required to compose patriotic lyrics by evoking the memories of heroic historical battles, Asatiani switched to dramatic descriptions of the Georgian past. But his new poems were dismissed as nationalistic and the print-run was cut to ten copies.[1] He died of complications of tuberculosis at the age of 26 in 1943. In 1968, he was reburied to the Tbilisi Didube Pantheon of writers.

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