Aaron in Azerbaijan

Just another blog about Azerbaijan.

A Sunday Poem

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This week’s Sunday Poem was written by Khalil Reza Uluturk (Xəlil Rza Ulutürk) in 1990, from Lefortovo prison in Moscow.  The prison was run by the KGB at the time, known as a detention center for political prisoners and infamous for torturous interrogations.  Originally built in 1881, the Lefortovo prison is named after a friend, Frank Lefort, of Czar Peter I the Great.  Here is Khalil’s poem, A Political Prisoner’s Walk.  Uluturk died in 1994, two years after his release from Lefortovo.

A Political Prisoner’s Walk

One in front, the other behind, both with rank insignia on their shoulders,
They are taking you in chains,
Even though you’re not chained at all.
Put your hands behind you and consider yourself chained.

I’m wearing a shirt, reddened from the fire in my heart,
I often forget that I’m a prisoner.
At this moment, those wearing the shoulder insignia lose their patience.
“Put your hands behind your back!” they shout angrily.
It’s as if I were dreaming and my drowsy mind awakens.
Here all the windows, doors and gates are locked.
Not a single bird can fly through them.
And here the ones
Who were brave before are no longer brave.
Here the sun itself is shaped like a square.
The daylight peers through the prison bars here,
In this K-shaped, four-storied prison of Katya.
This building wants to reduce everybody to nothing,
But here the guard and prisoner share the same fate:
Your hands are chained, but his mind is chained.
They are the ones whose souls are tied with chains,
while their hands are free.
Will this country with its population of 300 million
Be able to break these shackles?
Or to remove the curtain from its eyes?
Or to stop living with empty dreams?
One can tolerate living with fettered hands,
But what about those whose minds are in chains?
Though they travel the entire world, they remain in the same place.
Though they talk all day long; in fact, they are dumb,
Their marshals and admirals don’t equal a corporal,
Lame ones are teaching others to march in demonstrations.
Hey Artist! Paint a picture.
Of this very strange scene:
A free prisoner is walking in front of his enslaved guard.

For more poetry by Khalil, check out his Azeri.org page.  Look below the fold for the Azerbaijani…

Siyasi Dustağın Yeriş Qaydası

Qarşıda bir paqonlu,
arxada bir paqonlu,
Sən gedirsən ortada
Buxovsuz, ya buxovlu.
Biləklərin zəncirli
olmasa da, olsa da,
Zəncirli saymalısan
cüt qolunu arxada.
Qızıl köynək geymişəm
ürəyimin odundan.
Amma dustaq olmağım
çox vaxt çıxır yadımdan.
Bu dəm paqon əhlinin
tükənir hövsələsi:
—əllər arxaya doğru.—
yüksəlir qəzəb səsi.
Elə bil ki, yatmışam,
oyanır xumar ağlım.
Pəncərələr, qapılar,
darvazalar da bağlı.
Bir quş da səkə bilməz
burda, ey dili-qafil.
Burda iynə gözündən
gəlib keçir dəvə, fil.
Kvadrat şəkillidir
burda günəşin özü.
Barmaqlıq xanasından
göndərirlər gündüzü,
Katyanın “K” biçimli
dördmərtəbə məhbəsi1.
Bir heç görmək istəyir
caynağında hər kəsi.
Gözətçilə dustağın
burda qisməti eyni:
Sənin qolun bağlanıb,
onun idrakı, beyni.
əlləri azad ikən,
ruhu zəncirlənən var.
Sayı üç yüz milyona
Yaxınlaşan bu diyar.
Qıra biləcəkmidir
qollarından qandalı?
Gözlərindən pərdəni,
ya da bom-boş xəyalı?
Qolun bağlanmasına
bəlkə də dözmək olar.
Görün hələ nə qədər
beyni iflic olan var.
Dünyaları gəzirkən
öz yerində sayan var.
Gecə-gündüz danışan
min-min gəvəzə lal var.
Keçid rəsmindən keçir
marş öyrədən topallar.
Bir yefreytora dəyməz
marşallar, admirallar.
Rəssam. Çək bu lövhəni
Maraqlı mənzərədir:
Qul gözətçi önündə
Azad bir dustaq gedir.

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Written by Aaron

February 6, 2011 at 11:19 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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