ABASHELI, ALEXANDER (1884–1954). Georgian poet. Born Alexander Chochia into a peasant family in the village of Sachochio (modern Abashispiri) in western Georgia, Abasheli finished five years of elementary school and, after a brief study in Kutaisi, which he was too poor to continue, he began working as a postal clerk. He became actively involved in revolutionary activities in 1900s and participated in the 1905 Revolution, for which he was arrested and exiled until 1909. He worked on the staff of several newspapers in Tbilisi and produced first poems under penname ‘Abasheli’ in 1910. His first compilation of poems, Mzis sitsili (Sun’s smile) appeared in 1913 and combined elements of realism and symbolism. In later years, his style changed, especially after the establishment of the Soviet rule in Georgia in 1921. He briefly edited the journal Khomaldi in 1921-1922. His poems— Gabzaruli sarke (Broken mirror, 1929), Oktomris kukhili(October Thunder, 1937), Ukvdaveba (Immortality, 1938), Samshoblosadmi (To My Native Land, 1938), Mze da Samshoblo (The Sun and the Motherland, 1939) and others—glorified the Soviet achievements. During World War II, he published patriotic lyrics, including Gmiruli dgheebi (Heroic Days, 1942), Stalingradi(Stalingrad), and Khevsureli tankisti (The Khevsurian Tank Crewmember), among others. He promoted publication of Georgian classical literature, and, together with Giorgi Abashidze, he authored the national anthem.