Introduction to the collection of Alisher Navoi’s ghazals in Polish

In 2006, during Calicut International Poetry Festival in India, a group of poets discussed the topic “Is poetry marginal?”, where many came to a conclusion that poetry will continue to exist unless words disappear… Now, I am calling those days to mind and am thinking that poetry will never become marginal in the time when humankind continues bearing poetry admirers and translators like our friend from Poland, Janusz Krzyzowski.

To speak the truth, Janusz and I never met each other before, thanks to the virtual world, we made friends through the Internet. Together we have not done much yet: I only helped him gather original versions of the ghazals by Alisher Navoi, graciously translated by Mr. Krzyzowski into Polish. Hopefully, we will be able to launch bigger literary projects in the future, in order to bring the two nations closer to each other and to foster mutual understanding.3

XVth century great Uzbek poet and statesman Alisher Navoi might truly be terra incognito for the greater part of the word. However, he is always mentioned among Jalaliddin Rumi and Hafiz, Omar Khayyam and Jami, the first two of whom are enough popular and most readable throughout the world.

“When I read and translate Navoi, I feel I am in blooming Shalimar gardens: similar trees, flowers and odors, but a different color of beauty,” Janusz Krzyzowski said in his interview we published in Diydor Aziz newspaper in Uzbekistan and Vatandosh newspaper in New York. The role of literary translators is becoming more and more important these days, especially when readers of poetry collections are not too many, meaning that translators should seek the ways to lay good poetry and beauty into the hearts of both younger and older generations.

We could include samples from Janusz’s translations of Alisher Navoi in the recent international poetry collection published in Tashkent, The Language of The Birds. And I am very hopeful that the present collection will give a great opportunity for Polish readers to familiarize themselves with works by father of Uzbek Literature Alisher Navoi and let them feel oriental beauty and taste the magic of words.

I am deeply grateful to Mr. Krzyzowski for making a friendly cooperation with me, for his enthusiasm and for being a new literary bridge between Uzbekistan and Poland.

Azam Abidov
Poet, translator
Tashkent, Uzbekistan


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