NUR-SULTAN – Kazakhstan may be a young country celebrating the first 30 years of its independence, but its history and culture goes beyond those 30 years. On October 10, Kazakhstan celebrates the 110th anniversary of the birth of the eminent poet and writer Kassym Amanzholov.
Born in 1911 in the Karkaraly district of the Karaganda region, Amanzholov’s life was not easy from his earliest childhood. He lost his parents at a young age and was brought up in an orphanage.
Before starting his career as a journalist in 1932, he studied at a veterinary school and an agricultural institute in St. Petersburg. Amanzholov rose to prominence as a poet in 1931, at the age of 20, when he published his first poems. His first book – a collection of poems titled “Omir Syry” (Confessions of Life in Kazakh) recounting the life and work of the poet’s peers – was released seven years later.
But it wasn’t until 1945, when the Great Patriotic War began to force millions of young men, including Amanzholov, to give up their professional ambitions and join the Soviet army that some of the poet’s most famous poems have been written, including “Death of a poet” reviving the memory of Abdulla Zhumagaliyev, a young Kazakh poet who died at the front.
During the war years, Amanzholov spent days traveling from the Far East to the Western Front in 1943, and these long journeys between the fronts, while crossing his homeland, gave rise to poems such as “Ural” , “Saryarka” and “Baikal”.
These poems have reached a different level with new content, theme, type, means of artistic expression, depth of thought and feelings.
After the end of the war, he worked in the editorial staff of several magazines. In 1946 alone, he wrote 26 poems, including “Dostar” (Friends in Kazakh), “Tugan Jer” (Homeland in Kazakh), “Dombyra”, “Mai Keldi” (Mai Came in Kazakh), among others. .
The following year, however, Amanzholov fell ill, but despite his deteriorating health, he continued to write and translate some of the world’s most famous poems into Kazakh.
Over the years, Amanzholov has experimented with different styles of traditional zhyrau (Kazakh tales) and tolgau (Kazakh reflections) poetry to serial dramas and one-act satirical plays.
Amanzholov died in his prime at the age of 43. After his death, his works were published in three volumes, and in 1958, selected poems were published in Moscow.
“The poet considers the truth of life transformed into the truth of art as an effort for eternity, as an achievement. He is connected with people with all his heart, so that his poetic “I” is perceived by the reader as something of his own, understandable and close. Pushkin once noted that a real poet is interesting to readers in all states – happy, sad or in love. Amanzholov, as a poet, is seen in different states, and in each of them he excites us with his fullness of emotions and depth of thought. His poetry shows us examples of the diversity of human experiences, ”wrote Taken Alimkulov, a famous Kazakh writer, in his introduction to Kassym Amanzholov’s collection of poetry published by the Moscow-based art literature publishing house in 1975.
As Alimkulov wrote, Amazholov’s poetry will allow “our children to see how their fathers thought, felt and lived” representing a “chronicle of his time”.
“Universe! Spacious and bright house!
I am a small dot in your space.
I don’t have time to go around your expanse,
In relation to eternity we live for a moment.
People to come! Kassym sees you.
You walk the earth like a palace of gold.
I will lie down under the earth right now,
Forever wrapped in the blanket of the earth.
How many wrinkles does the earth have on her face,
My footprints are now underground… ”
(free translation by the author of Amanzholov’s poem “About Myself”)