Aaron in Azerbaijan

Just another blog about Azerbaijan.

A Sunday Poem

with one comment

This week’s poem is by Bakhtiyar Vahabzade (Bəxtiyar Vahabzadə), called I Must Be Myself (Ozüm Olmalıyam):

I Must Be Myself

Perceive and understand yourself,
Stop bowing first to this one, then to that one.
By flattering others so much
You’re your own worst enemy.

We lost ourselves completely,
Where’s the vigor, where’s the pride?
The old East that once ruled the world
Is now acting upon the orders of the West.

By God, we got sick and tired of bowing to strangers,
But we didn’t get bored of imitating others.
We lost ourselves, we become unrecognizable
Because of mixing our pure blood with others.
This world doesn’t want to recognize us,
We let ourselves get drowned in imitations.

I want to be known by my own voice,
Enough that I lived like a convict,
I want the eyes of the world to see me
The way I am: with my good and my evil.

I am the way I am, whether black or white,
Why should I imitate others?
I have to be myself, only myself,
If I am not myself, then I am nothing.

For the Azeri version, read on…

Özüm Olmalıyam

Özünü dərk eylə, özünü anla,
Gah ona, gah buna baş əydin, yetər.
Özgəyə bu qədər yalmanmağınla,
Özünə düşmənsən özgədən betər.

Bizm özlüyümüz getdi büsbütün,
Hanı bəs kişilik, hanı bəs qürur?
Dünyaya hökm edən qoca Şərq bu gün,
Qərbin çubuğuyla oturub-durur.

Yada əyilməkdən vallah, yorulduq,
Bezmədik özgəni yamsılamaqdan.
Itdi mənliyimiz, tanınmaz olduq,
Təmiz qanımıza qan calamaqdan.
Tanımaq istəmir bu dünya bizi,
Təqlidə boğdurduq mənliyimizi.

Tanınmaq istərəm mən öz səsimlə,
Bəsdir yaşadığın bir məhkum kimi,
Dünyanın gözünə yaxsı, pisimlə,
Görünmək istərəm olduğum kimi.

Nəyəmsə, mən oyam, qarayam, ya ağ,
Niyə özgəsinə küsənməliyəm?
Özüm olmalıyam, mən özüm ancaq,
Özüm deyiləmsə, demək heç nəyəm.

For our previous feature by Bəxtiyar, click here.  For a larger selection of poetry by Bəxtiyar, visit his Azeri.org page here.

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Written by Aaron

April 10, 2011 at 10:37 am

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Hi Aaron.
    Lovely that you are featuring some of Vahabzade’s poems each Sunday. I hope you’ll continue to do that.

    For readers who would like to know Vahabazade more, we interviewed him in 2002. You can read his ideas at that point in his life, this poem above and several others here: “Poetic Justice: Memoirs of Poet Bakhtiyar Vahabzade,” Azerbaijan International, Vol 10:3 (Autumn 2002).

    http://azer.com/aiweb/categories/magazine/ai103_folder/103_articles/103_vahabzade.html

    Betty Blair

    April 10, 2011 at 6:07 pm


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