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“I will transmit the verse to my descendants”

Date: May 26, 2024 Time: 06:36:19

The only life photograph of Shakarim Kudaiberdiev. Illustration: abaialemi.kz

Literary Kazakhstan celebrates 165 years since the birth of Shakarim Kudaiberdiev (1858-1931), a poet, writer, translator, composer, historian and philosopher, nephew and student of the great national poet Abai Kunanbayev (1845-1904). Kudaiberdiev can hardly be called a favorite of fate, and the death of the writer, who carried out the Kazakh poetic translation of Pushkin’s “Snowstorm” and “Dubrovsky”, was frankly absurd and tragic. The poet’s name was under political and bureaucratic ban for decades, but today his works are part of the treasury of Kazakhstan’s national culture.

According to the modern Kazakh writer Zaure Turekhanova, Shakarim Kudaiberdiev was one of the prominent figures of his time, whose life and work will be studied for generations. “Kudaiberdiev is known to the Kazakh people not only as a poet, but also as a polyglot translator who, in addition to his native Kazakh, was fluent in Arabic, Persian and Russian,” emphasizes Turekhanova. -He translated into Kazakh the lyrical works of Hafiz, Navoi, the poem “Leyli and Majnun” by Fuzuli, the novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Harriet Beecher Stowe, novels and short stories by Alexander Pushkin, George Byron and Leo Tolstoy. With the latter, he even corresponded. In addition, Kudaiberdiev had encyclopedic knowledge, he was a traveler and a philosopher. Shakarim is the sage of his time.”

“The poetic word woke me up early”

At the age of five, Shakarim became a student of the mullah, who taught him the basics of Arabic and Persian. The boy’s seven-year milestone was marked by tragedy: he was left an orphan. His tutor was Uncle Abai, who managed to discern and develop creative talents in his niece. In his youth, his interests were spiritual and philosophical treatises, ancient and contemporary works of art, geography, natural sciences, history.

The young man mastered the basics of fine art and stone carving, learned to model and sew clothes, and made musical instruments. Already at a young age, Shakarim begins to write poetry, songs, treatises.

Monument to Shakarim Kudaiberdiev in Semey. Illustration: obvk.kz

At the age of 20, the poet becomes a manager or foreman of the volost, the elected head of the district. Work in this position shaped his sociopolitical views, but the future classical quickly realized that he was becoming a slave to the position, in 1898 he left the position and devoted himself entirely to creativity and travel. With Abai’s financial support and on his recommendation, Shakarim visited Turkey, where he studied ancient texts at the Library in Istanbul, Arabia, and made a pilgrimage to Mecca. In France, Kudaiberdiev paid special attention to the collection of old books stored in the Paris Library.

On the advice of his uncle, Shakarim Kudaiberdiev studied the works of Tolstoy and Pushkin, was fond of the works of Arab writers Hafiz, Fizuli, Navoi, studied the works of English and American writers and poets of the romantic era. The main themes of his own works were the freedom of the individual, morality and spiritual development. His legacy includes lyrics, philosophical essays, translations, and musical works.

Shakarim Kudaiberdiev is the author of the conceptual philosophical work “Three Truths”, in which he outlines the foundations of his ethical system, values ​​and aesthetic priorities. Shakarim wrote this treatise over 30 years.

In his philosophical lyrics “Mirror of the Kazakhs”, “Kalkaman-Mamyr” and “Enlik-Kebek” the poet discusses a person’s self-knowledge, his spiritual improvement, the preservation of inner freedom as a prerequisite for the development of personality. Shakarim’s poetic reflections on life and death, ethical ideals and values ​​of contemporary society (“Notes of the Forgotten”, “Nartailak and Aisulu” and “Kodar’s Death”) are devoted to the same themes. In El jardín de las bells, the poet and thinker points out the need for the moral education of young people and the pacification of selfish instincts.

In addition to poetry and philosophical essays, Shakarim’s work is represented by fiction and translations. Her fables, aphorisms and riddles also gained popularity. The poet wrote about himself:

The colors, the smells of the earth and the sounds became clear to me.

A poetic word woke me up early.

I understood what is the secret of the world, the basis of the universe.

Through the letters of the Orient…

When the October Revolution broke out, Shakarim wrote a poem with the revealing title “The Dawn of Freedom Has Dawned.” Later, the poet will participate in the socio-political movement “Alash”, the goal of which was proclaimed the establishment of Kazakh national-territorial autonomy as part of the young Soviet state. However, Shakarim will quickly become disillusioned with a state structure based on brute force. He will retire to the Chingiztau mountains in eastern Kazakhstan and live there as a hermit for almost 10 years.

Mural on the wall of a house in the village of Urdzhar in the East Kazakhstan region. Illustration: jana-kezen.kz

Even in this harmless quality, the poet managed to arouse the suspicions of the authorities. Indiscriminately accusing Shakarim of gang ties, the Chekists jailed the poet. And shortly after leaving him, he was killed under unclear circumstances, they said “by mistake.” It happened on October 2, 1931. The poet’s body was thrown into an old well, his poems, prose, translations and musical works were forgotten for many decades, despite the fact that in 1958 the General Prosecutor’s Office rehabilitated Shakarim Kudaiberdiev for the failure of the charges.

“Motherland of Abai and Shakarim”

Today the name of the poet is widely known in Kazakhstan and beyond. In the program article “Abai and Kazakhstan in the 21st century”, the country’s president, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, puts Kudaiberdiev on the same level as Abai. “Semey is one of the important holy places in the history of Kazakhstan. The city of Semey, which plays a special role in the spiritual development of the country, should be designated as a historical center. The homeland of Abay and Shakarim, Mukhtar Auezov is worthy of special honor”, ​​writes the head of state.

The poet’s return to history and to modernity was long and difficult. In 1961, his son reburied the remains of his father, the village of Zhidebay became the resting place, Shakarim’s grave is located next to the mausoleum of his mentor and teacher Abai. In 1988, the Semipalatinsk newspaper “Irtysh” published an article dedicated to Shakarim “The Return of the Poet.” The following year, readers saw a collection of his works, and in 2008 Kazakh writer Rollan Seisenbaev presented a three-volume work by Shakarim Kudaiberdiev that, in addition to letters, included documents attesting to a dramatic death.

Today the university bears the name of the poet, a monument is erected to him in the city of Semey. Shakarim’s prophecy came true:

I will pass the verse on to my descendants:

One for joy and the other for laughter.

Even if we don’t have to meet

Let them know how pain tormented me.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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