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[tatar-l] Ozbek poet Cholpan's a poem

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    Dear Tatar friends, I have written so much about Tatar, but little about one of my dual mother-tongues, Özbek (Uzbek)! Some may wonder, if one person can have
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 1999
      Dear Tatar friends,

      I have written so much about Tatar, but little about one of my dual
      mother-tongues, Özbek (Uzbek)! Some may wonder, if one person can
      have dual mother-tongues? Well, I have; both Turkey Turkish and Özbek
      (Uzbek) are my mother-tongues. I first heard Özbek from my mother
      when she sang lullaby and sweet words to my baby ears, later I
      learned Turkey Turkish at home, outside from friends and finally at
      school in Istanbul. I have never lived or studied in Soviet
      Uzbekistan, but my teacher of Özbek was my father who read me rich
      Chagatay literature (14th-19th centuries) and Özbek literature of the
      1910s and 1920s. Abdulhamid Suleyman Cholpan (1897-1938) was the
      first Özbek (Uzbek) poet whose poems I have heard from my
      father when I was 7 years old and later memorized his poems when I
      was 15 years old. Cholpan is the greatest poet of modern Özbek
      literature in the 20th century, he is just like Tukay for the Tatar
      literature. As a matter of fact, after Alisher Nevaiy (15th century),
      Cholpan could be regarded as the second greatest poet in
      Turkistan (Central Asia) sharing the second status together with the
      great Qazaq (Kazak) poet Maghjan Jumabay-uli ((1893-1938). You can
      see from their death dates, both Cholpan & Maghjan were killed during
      the Stalinist purges in 1938. Actually Cholpan was executed one day
      before his trial and his death verdict was announced one day after he
      was shoot!

      Cholpan's poems are very lyric and he has refused to write "Soviet
      propaganda" poems, even some of his poems about Lenin and "Soviet
      period" are very sarcastic and have double meanings. Cholpan's works
      were forbidden in the Soviet period between 1938 and 1986. Today he
      is the most beloved poet of the Özbeks in Uzbekistan. My father Osman
      Khoca (1878-1968) is the first literary analyst who wrote an article
      about Cholpan's poems in 1927 in Istanbul.

      Here is one of his very famous and beloved poems:


      Köngül, sén munchalar nége
      Kishenler birle dostlashdIng?
      Né feryadIng, né dadIng bar,
      Néchün sén muncha sustlashdIng?

      Hakaret dilni aghrItmas,
      Tübenlik méngü kétmesmi?
      Kishenler parchalanmasmI?
      QILIchlar éndi sInmasmI?

      Tiriksen, ölmegensen,
      Sén de adem, sén de insansen,
      Kishen kiyme,
      BoyIn égme,
      Ki sen hem hür tughILghansen!

      Tashkent, 7 Avgust 1922

      (English translation):


      Oh, my heart! Why do you behave
      So amicably toward these chains?
      You never weep or writhe in pain,
      How can you endure your endless silence?

      Don't the insults ever offend you?
      Is there no end to your submission?
      Will you ever break free of the chains
      And can the swords ever be shattered?

      You are alive, not a dead thing,
      You are still manly, wholly human;
      Don't bear these chains,
      Don't bend down,
      Know that you too were free-born!
      Tashkent, 7 August 1922
      (English translation by Timur Kocaoglu & Mel Kenne)

      I wonder how much our Tatar friends could understand this Özbek poem
      by Cholpan? For several words the English translation would be
      helpful. Has anyone in Tatarstan written an article about the Özbek
      poet Cholpan in the Tatar press? If any friend wants to write about
      Cholpan in the Tatar press, I can send his poems to him or her.

      Sincerely, Timur

      Timur Kocaoglu
      Associate Professor of Central Asian Studies
      College of Arts & Sciences
      Koc University
      Cayir Cad. 5, Istinye 80860, Istanbul, Turkey
      Office Phone# (90-212) 229-3006 (Ext. 422)
      Office Fax# (90-212) 229-0680
      E-mail: tkocaoglu@...
      Home Page: http://home.ku.edu.tr/~kocaoglu/
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