Aaron in Azerbaijan

Just another blog about Azerbaijan.

A Sunday Poem

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This week’s poem comes from Isa Ismayilzade (İsa İsmayılzadə), titled The Year 1941 (1941-ci il):

The Year 1941

The year of my birth
Is forever bound
With the name of the Unknown Soldier.
That dark, stern year
Born in trenches,
In smoke,
And fire,
The year of my birth.

The year of my birth
Scarred the breast of the earth
Like a jagged bayonet wound.
On the breast of the earth.
Soldiers’ iron-shod boots
The year of my birth.
Across the dark sky
Fire-breathing cannons
Spat out the date.
In clouds on high
Wild scorching rockets
That could melt distant stars
Etched that cursed year.
And bereaved mothers’ eyes
Engraved that black year
In the pillows they soaked
With many a salty tear

I never wish to celebrate
The year of my birth,
For fear lest I wake,
By the clinking of glasses and noisy mirth,
All those who sleep in memory’s vaults.

I wish never to celebrate
The year of my birth.
For sorrow will never cool
Like food long grown cold
On my older dead brother’s plate.
My sense of loss and guiltless shame
Are keenest of all
When I look up and see
His portrait on the wall
In its simple black frame.

If I can find a translation, I’ll post it here.  You can read more Azerbaijani poetry at Azeri.org.


Written by Aaron

July 24, 2011 at 7:06 pm

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