Aaron in Azerbaijan

Just another blog about Azerbaijan.

Posts Tagged ‘Azerbaijani Poetry

A Sunday Poem

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This week’s poem is by Vagif Samadoghlu (Vaqif Səmədoğlu), called That Strange and Soft Tune (Sənin səhərdən axşama kimi oxuduğun). Enjoy:

That Strange and Soft Tune

That strange and soft tune
that once you were murmuring all day long
in the language that I didn’t understand,
is still ringing in my ears.
I have learned by heart
the strange words of that nice and inconsolable,
of that distant and desperate song,
and they are still ringing in my ears…
That strange song that once
you were singing all day long
is as far, unhappy and somehow cautious
as my native land.

For the Azeri, read below… Read the rest of this entry »


Written by Aaron

October 23, 2011 at 5:48 am

A Sunday Poem, On Monday

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Travel logistics made Sunday’s poem get pushed back to today. This week, we read a poem by Füzuli, Azerbaijan’s epic poet writing in the 16th century. This is an excerpt from his rendition of Leyla and Majnun (Leyli və Məcnun), describing Leyla:

Among all the girls was one bright as a fairy,
Who aimed all her glances directly at Qays.
So beautiful she, with her ways and her graces,
That many an elder, forgetful of vows,
Might find all his virtue caught up in her curls.
Calamitous chain for the neck was the garland
Of ringleted locks that fell down in a cloud:
Affliction for lovers was spelled by her eyebrows,
As lovely as twins, and, as twins, forming one.
Each eyelash that curved from her lids was an arrow
That pierced to heart and that stirred all the blood:
Her eyes from their shelter poured forth fiery glances
That, piercing the soul, spread the fever of love.
Her brow, like an ocean, far spread and smooth rolling
Like the ocean had many a peril in check.
The black of her eyes shamed collyrium’s darkness
And made it a captive in chains to her mole.
Her cheeks flushing red, paled her rouge to a whiteness,
No rouge ever sullied their delicate blush.
Should her eyes lose their pupils, no blindness would follow,
Her mole would become a black pupil of sight.
Her teeth, pearly white, from between her lips’redness
Gleamed forth as bright pearls in the heart of a rose:
When the doors of her speech were full opened, one fancied
The dead must spring forth from their mouldering tombs.
From her round dimpled chin her neck curved to her bosom;
Her stature and form were creation divine.
The falcon itself, a bird sacred to kingship,
Unhooded, can gaze in the eye of the sun,
But the eyes of this child, with their antelope softness,
Could flash forth a look that the falcon outshone.
Her motion was graceful, her words sugared honey,
No act but had grace, every movement a joy-
But why count her beauties? Put all in a sentence:
The whole world itself, in a passion of terror
Clung fast to her hair, as she went on her way.
Beloved of all the world was this maiden.
Qays looked and he perished, for Leyla her name.
As he with a sorrowful passion of yearning
With sighs fed the fire that her beauty awoke,
So she in a thousand sweet joys lost her reason
For him without whom she knew living was death.
She saw how the world gave its ultimate wonder,
She saw how he held all her world in his hands.

You can find more from Füzuli’s Leyli və Məcnun here at this site about Turkish culture. For even more Azeri poetry, go to Azeri.org’s Poetry page.

Written by Aaron

October 17, 2011 at 12:27 pm

A Sunday Poem

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This week, a poem by Fikrat Goja (Fikrət Qoca) called An Unfinished Work (Yarımçıq İş):

An Unfinished Work

An unfinished work is
An engaged son or daughter
Without a wedding.
An unfinished work is
An autumn without harvest.
An unfinished work is
A road without a bridge,
A land without a road,
A tongue without a word.
An unfinished work is
A work done without a goal,
A curse without meaning,
A kiss without love.
An unfinished work is
A roof with a ceiling
That leaks,
Brother, in short,
An unfinished work is
A person who is good for nothing.

For the Azerbaijani version, read below… Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Aaron

October 9, 2011 at 5:47 pm

A Sunday Poem

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This week’s poem was written by Samad Vurghun (Səməd Vurğun) and is called Don’t Bend! (Əyilmə!):

Don’t Bend!

O life! At times it’s smirched with mire and dirt,
But see, life’s stage a thousand curtains knows
When you, young man, in difficult times are hurt,
Then bless the manliness which in you grows.

O Time! It may be pitiless, or sad,
And now and it brutally shakes the earth.
If Time intends to annihilate you, my lad,
Go boldly forward, and fight for all you’re worth.

O Boldness! Every moment it must imbue.
Without it, life would perish, that’s my belief.
And you, who’ve come to know my words are true,
As a man, a son of man, control your grief.

Now what I wished to say, I cry aloud:
Aspire to wide horizons, to highest skies!
Don’t think, young man, that life’s a rosy cloud,
And do not bend, no, not in any wise!

For the Azeri, read on… Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Aaron

September 11, 2011 at 12:18 pm

A Sunday Poem (a day late)

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My internet provider conspired to delay my blog posting and my first live fantasy football draft of the season last night, so the Sunday poem comes a day late and my fantasy football draft was doomed to Autodraft mediocrity. For our poem this week, from Fikrat Goja (Fikrət Qoca), we enjoy An Ordinary Man (Adi İnsan). Read more works by Fikrat at his Azeri.org page.

An Ordinary Man

I am not a gulp of water to be drunk:
I am not a road to be walked upon without ceasing.
It’s true, I’m just an ordinary man,
I’m not as great as you to become smaller.
It is greatness itself to just be an ordinary man, my brother!
It is a heavy burden to carry this name
For an entire lifetime.
I have my own family,
My own children,
My own bread, my own life,
My own generation,
My own house,
My own name.
I have a good neighbor
And I have a bad one, too.
I have both friends and enemies!
(Whether it is right or wrong)
I have my own self!
I am an ordinary man
Neither great, nor small.
It’s a heavy burden itself just to be an ordinary man.
I have both an open door,
And an open heart for my friends,
I always have bread and salt* on my table.
I am ready to meet death as a real man.
I am ready to struggle and fight for it.
But I can’t meet death grain-by-grain, drop-by-drop.
I can’t greet my enemy with a smile.
I am not a diplomat;
I’m just an ordinary man
I should be given credit if
I can hold onto this name until the end.

For the Azeri translation, read on… Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Aaron

August 29, 2011 at 11:45 am

A Sunday Poem

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This week’s poem is My Tabriz (Təbrizim) by Suleyman Rustam (Süleyman Rüstəm).  It describes the Iranian city of Tabriz, a city with deep historical Azeri Turkish roots:

My Tabriz

I never get tired of looking at your beauty,
My Tabriz, my Tabriz, my gorgeous Tabriz!

I won’t let you embrace strangers,
Let me fling my arms round your neck!
Your brother speaking your language, having your blood,
Your close friend sharing your distress
Has come to your festivity, to your celebration.

You met me with salt and bread,
You met me with flowers from your garden,
You met me with your honest heart,
My Tabriz, my Tabriz, oh, my Tabriz,
Let the mists lift away from above your head, my Tabriz!

Those who have undergone isolation can value you,
Those who have shed tears while parting cherish you,
Those who have lived dark lives can value you,
I picked flowers from your garden, my Tabriz,
My sorrow revived again, my Tabriz!

How beautiful the willows are along the roads,
And boys of courage under the shadow of the willows
Are listening to the advice of their grandfathers,
And their blood boils up, my Tabriz,
These courageous boys are wonderful, my Tabriz!

I’ll cry if you’re crying, I’ll laugh if you’re laughing,
I’ll live if you’re living, I’ll die if you are no more,
I’ll share all I have with you,
Let me kiss you once more, my Tabriz!
Let me scatter flowers around you, my Tabriz!

What do those deep, meaningful looks mean?
What do the rains coming out of your eyes mean?
What do those autumns and winters in your soul mean?
Don’t be downcast like an orphan, my Tabriz!
Don’t be so mournful, my Tabriz!

I beg your flowers!
I beg your tongue to call me “Brother”!
I beg your land and your ground!
I never get tired of looking at your beauty,
My Tabriz, my Tabriz, my gorgeous Tabriz!

Read below for the Azeri version. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Aaron

July 31, 2011 at 1:04 pm

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