I was 24 when I first saw Samad Vurgun’s poems in a magazine called Soviet Literature. Vurgun made a strong impression on me, an idealistic chap with little experience of the world, and I copied several of his poems in my diary, I had a long stretch of living before me. Today when I typed the same poems on my computer, almost four decades have passed, even though I have been taking my time to live!
The diary page on which I wrote out the poems was dated Tuesday, February 11, 1975.In those pre-computer days, I had no way of finding out who the poet was. Nobody then had heard of him and there was no mention in the public library. Now, I simply looked up Wikipedia to learn that Samad was the greatest modern poet of Azerbaijan.
– December 14, 2012
One star aglow
One star aglow in a vast nocturnal sky
And pearl-grey cloud forms massing over the mountains
My dreams shall stay there with the night forever.
Time sweeps on and on with the rushing storm-winds,
I look at the earth, at gardens, orchards, rivers,
I look at the sky: is that Infinity there?
The creation of this planet is a miracle, an unsolved mystery
Singly the petals fall from the wilting rose
What dies returns to life in a new birth.
The thinking brain shrivels to dry powder
What is the secret of renewal on Earth?
Truly, Nature is ever self-creating.
The world’s eternal; life, a particle torn
From great abundance. We must die too soon
And yet the world lives on, and man is born.