Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Umid Ali writes


He mixed in the air – completely, 
And imbiled to land as the soil 
His soul-world called “a life,”
Got into poems a lot of it.  
His spirit such a purity - honest, 
And glorious, mild as a spring 
You can sanctify yourself, 
If you cry only for himself.
The significance – time full of entertainment – 
If life is revived into your conscience. 
A spirit is in the sky and your body is in the earth… 
If the soul floats in the air

--tr. Asror Allayarov, from "The Gate Opened by Angels"

1 comment:

  1. Alisher Navoi (Mīr 'Ali-Shir Nava'i, also known as Nizām-al-Din ʿAlī-Shīr Herawī) was a 15th-century politician, linguist, mystic, painter, musician, composer, calligrapher, and sculptor, the the greatest representative of Chagatai literature (and considered by many to be the founder of early Turkic literature), and a major influence on Urdu and Hindi literature. He was born in Herat (in modern Afghanistan), one of the leading cultural centers in the Muslim world. His father was a high-ranking officer and his mother a royal governess. When his father died, the ruler of Khorasan (now part of Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan), and Uzbekistan), became the future poet's guardian. In 1469, Husayn Bayqarah seized power in Herat, and Ali-Shir left his studies in Samarkand to join his old schoolmate as a public administrator and adviser. He founded, restored, or endowed some 370 mosques, madrasas, libraries, hospitals, caravanserais, and other educational, pious, and charitable institutions in Khorasan (40 caravanserais, 20 pools, 17 mosques, 10 mansions, 9 bathhouses, 9 bridges in Herat alone), most notably the mausoleum in Nishapur of the 13th-century mystical poet, Farid al-Din Attar and the Khalasiya madrasa in Herat. Despite his power and influence, he led an ascetic lifestyle, never marrying or having concubines or children. Under the pen name "Nava'i" he produced 30 works in as many years. To help other poets, we wrote technical manuals on Turkic meters; in "Majalis al-Nafais" (Assemblies of Distinguished Men) he collated over 450 biographical sketches of mostly contemporary poets; his chief works include the "Khamsa" (Quintuple), five epic poems; "Lison ut-Tayr" (Language of Birds), in which he addressed philosophical and Sufi ideas; "Muhakamat al-Lughatayn"(The Trial of the Two Languages), a comparison of Turkic and Persian in lingustic terms. However, as "Fāni," he also wrote in Persian and, to a much lesser degree, in Arabic. His 50,000 Chagatai poems were preserved in 4 diwans (poetry collections), while his book of Persian poetry contains 6,000 lines. Under Soviet and Uzbek authority, he has been given an ethnic Uzbek identity and is regarded as the founder of Uzbek literature. As part of Soviet linguistic policy, the Chagatai language was renamed "Old Uzbek" and claims were made that the poet was descended from Bakhshi scribes, which led to his identification as a descendant of Uyghurs, as part of a concerted effort to give various cultural figures an "Uzbek" identity.


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