Azerbaijan International

Spring 2004 (12.1)
Pages 20-21

Ali Karim
Break Down the Closed Doors

Ali Pasha oghlu Karimov was born March 22, 1931, in the Goychay region of Azerbaijan. He died June 30, 1969 in Baku.

He graduated from the Literature Institute named after Maxim Gorky (1955). He eventually headed the Poetry Department of Azerbaijan magazine. He received an award for his epic entitled "First Symphony" (Ilk Simfoniya) at the Sixth Festival of World Youth and Students held in Moscow in 1957.

He is the author of the following books: "Two Loves" (Iki Sevgi, 1960), "Always Traveling" (Hamisha Safarda, 1963), "Golden Wing" (Gizil Ganad, 1965), "Return Your Mother's Debt" (Gaytar Ana Borjunu, 1970), "Stairs" (Pillalar, 1978), "Return" (Gayit, 1983).

His famous poem, "Stone", was published in Azerbaijan International's Literary issue (AI 7.1) Spring 1999, p 44.

These poems published here were translated by Aynura Huseinova and Ulviyya Mammadova. They were edited by Betty Blair.

Two Loves


Beautiful lady, you are pure water,
You are the dream of two hearts.
I love you,
As desperately dry lips, burned from thirst
Love a drop of water.
But he loves you,
As one who says:
"A glass of water wouldn't be bad after kabab."
Beautiful lady, you are light,
You are the beauty of my country.

I love you as an eye,
Desperately longing for a glimmer of light in darkness,
But he loves you,
As an attraction,
Which is created with light at gatherings, weddings.

Speak up, let you voice rise,
Never let your voice fade away.
Because I love you as an echo,
As sound,
As strength,
Which comes from Baku, from Dashkasan*.
Why to hide from you
That he loves you
As a sorrowful silence in some dark corner of a room.
This is me, this is you, that's him,
Tell us what you think!
But pay close attention to these two loves,
I have no more words to say,
Period, period and period.

Do Not Reconcile Yourself

Do not reconcile yourself to grief,
Or you will become indifferent to everything.
Do not reconcile yourself to happiness,
Or you will become drunk.
Reconcile yourself only with struggle.
You need research, research.
Just think about it,
There's Shakespeare

Locking The Door

Locking the door from inside
Writing poems
The door is often knocked upon
Interrupting my stream of thought.
Again, it was my sons, nobody else.
They ignored all the other open doors,
But they wanted to come in here.
It was as if they were spying on me.
Suddenly, the thought comes to my mind
Thank God, they're not willing
To go through open doors.
My sons-Orkhan! Pasha! Azar!
If you see that I haven't open the door,
Go ahead and break down the closed door.

My Father's Memoir


He was tough. When I used to hurry to class,
He never wanted me to see him watching me.
He never did talk about his feelings
And never did show how much he cared about his children.
Sometimes he stared at me secretly and smiled
Sometimes he did nothing but smoke heavily,
For him to sacrifice himself for his children,
Was a thousand times easier than telling us "jan"*.

His heavy, hard working, tough hands,
Would embrace my shoulders as fate.
As a rising sun, some thoughts
Would brighten up his face in a moment.

His love was cold, too-like a thick layer of snow,
Which protects fresh seedlings from the winter frost.
I was studying in Moscow,
He left me forever.
When the time for the Eternal Partition came,
He wished I were there beside him,
Then he changed his mind and
Didn't want me to know about it.
He was ashamed by his death.
Oh, why did he do it, why so much suffering?
Once I had such a father.

* "Jan" in Azeri is a term of endearment, meaning "soul".

Babak's Arms


Babak, whose arms were severed,
Babak, whose lands were ravaged by fire,
Babak, who was taken village by village
Through the vast ruins of the East,
In a bloody red cart,
As an example for people.
Babak, who died and came back to life.
Babak, who was somewhat consoled
When he saw that they had severed his arms.
Babak, whose dreams were in red,
Babak, who said: "Hey friends,
Take your troops, attack,
Join my arms that were left without me
And are fighting on the battlefield."

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