Written during Kul Gali's10-year incarceration in the zindan of the Alabuga tower (1193-1203), and recognized as a marvel of the
Bulgarian literature, the Kul Gali's poem is presented here because it is a real marvel
of the Eastern European Türkic history. The poem exists in some 170
handwritten manuscripts, written in the authentic Bulgarian language of the
period, presenting such a powerful self-evidence of the language that it can't
be challenged by any studies of the Mari, Chuvash, Armenian, Slavic, or any
other funerary epitaphs found in the territory of the multi-ethnic Bulgarian state.
presented publication is a somewhat abbreviated translation from the Türkic
language into Russian, which in turn was machine-translated to English, and
suffers all the defects of the machine translation even for the purposes of the
line-by-line rendition. The excellent Türkic to Russian translation is by the
professor of the Leningrad University Sergey Ivanov, who artistically rendered
the graciousness of the Kul Gali's style, translating immediately from the
original, which allowed S. Ivanov to feel the nuances of the poetic expressions.
The Russian translation, in addition to using the Türkisms inherent in the
Russian language, retained on top of it a number of the original Türkic words
that do not lend to translation, and these words were also retained in the English
translation, giving the reader a feel of the original Bulgarian language. These
retained Türkisms, once a chapter is edited, are shown in
blue italics. We can only hope that the semantics of the poem was
relayed correctly in the Russian translation, even though the absence of the
word "Allah" in the translation is glaring, implying that in the original
the word "Khuday", i.e. God, was used everywhere instead of "Allah", a very
doubtful supposition. For the Russian speakers, the Russian translation is a
The official foreword, on the cover of the edition, is screamingly symptomatic of the
methods and spins utilized in packaging even the granules of truism, in order to
be pulled through the machinery of the imperial censorship. Nothing less
than a Corresponding Member
of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR jumbles a pile of nonsensical epithets and
loudly sounding blabs to provide a shield for the revealing of the state
secrets, that in the 12th century the authentic Bulgar
literature has already achieved its heights, that the
Bulgar language has nothing to do with the Chuvashelinguality invented in
the spur of the colonial expansion and later buttressed in the Academies of the Imperial
Russia and the USSR, that Kul Gali was an outstanding leader who himself
raised from a lay figure to the head of the nation. The Corresponding Member
of the Academy professionally veils between the lines any hint of the truth,
in the best spirit of the country and peculiarity of its epoch.
ÒÀÒÀÐÑÒÀÍ ÊÈÒÀÏ ÍÝØÐÈßÒÛ
TATARSTAN KITAP NESHRIYATY
ÒÀÒÀÐÑÊÎÅ ÊÍÈÆÍÎÅ ÈÇÄÀÒÅËÜÑÒÂÎ
Book Cover Foreword
In the fate of the poem's main character is embodied not only
an idea of the ascension to the highest, supreme authority by the men from
the democratic bottom, even though this idea in itself then was daring and
unusual. The sense of the Kul Gali poem is broader, more encompassing. Yusuf
underwent through not a small grief
and suffering, but did not lost his courage, did not do anything despicable, was not
intimidated. He personifies a faith, a truth, a staunchness, an
integrity, an incorruptibility, a trustfulness, a clemency, a simplicity,
Even when the circumstances changed abruptly and he became a noble
of Egypt, Yusuf did not change his nature, his truth, the faultless
Zuleyha it is madly in love with Yusuf. The pages about Zuleyha's
love are written with such a
strength and unlimited inspiration that they inflame
your heart. She carried her love to Yusuf through all her life.
Any things, whatever their cost is and whatever the weight they have, cannot
a person, with his spiritual and moral weight. This idea is one of the main in
the Kul Gali poem "Kyssa-i Üsuf".
The great poet calls for the peace, serenity, friendship, honesty,
fairness. He hates
the mutual enmity and distrust between people, and condemns the wars. The
created for people, for their prosperity, do not disappear, do not vanish
without a trace. The light of kindness lit by the great poet in the remote thirteenth century
did not quench, it survived the impacts of winds and drafts of time. And what Kul Gali
yearned for and dreamed about, rings a bell in our time. The great it is
always contemporary, always lively. It does not age.
Corresponding Member of the USSR AofS
BBK 84.32 (R-Tat) To
Author of the foreword and comments, scientific editor, Doctor of Phylology Science,
Graphics and illustrations, National Artist of the TASSR
Editor of the publisher KIYAM MINNIBAEV
BBK 84.3 (2Ð-Òàò)
TO 4702510000Ò227 112-85
© Translation into Russian. Tatar book publishing house, 1985.
Foreword by a Literary Critic
Nurmuhammet Hisamov Foreword here
Praise and honor the Eternal and One,
Who is Immortal Lord in the eternal lands,
Nothing is like Him, only He is Great,
We honor the Eternal Creator now
Mohammed is his champ, and following Creator,
We honor prophet, none is alike like Him,
Two flights of arrow from the Creator he saw the holy shine2,-
Honor and praise rise to the Chosen now.
Then we render praise and honor to him,
Who in a cave lived with the Chosen together as His friend,
Who was devoted to Him and, loyal, was with Him,-
Nothing exceeds this fidelity for ever and for now.
Omar, Hattab's son 4 will be praised,
For fairness he was esteemed by the entire world,
His glory exceeds that of a hundred thousand heroes,
Uncounted mosques established he by now.
Honor òî Osman5
who fell for faith,
Omnipotent Himself him praised in the Koran,
Great mind gave Creator him as gift.
Assembled in a true Book, Koran's alive and now.
And honor to
Ali, who run combats and fights,
A hundred thousand heroes he led himself in fights,
And glory Zulfikar 7, and his victorious sword,
The warrior Ali has no equal even now.
Praise two daring sons of Ali.
For true to their faith, for valor eulogize:
Hasan and Husain had fallen for the faith 8,
And, raised into heaven, in paradise are now.
Honor and praise to four caliphs belong 9,
Enburdened by torments, they're wise and rightful
True to the prophet with everyone who followed him,
And let Creator favor him and now.
And glory to the men, whose life was
They chanced to see the deeds of the Chosen.
Three by ten by three thousand of them get praise,
And our instructors for us they are right now.
Then came a man, a source of
Islam was decorated, for his belief was high.
Who could perceive his deeds?
Son of Sabit,
Nugman10, is revered now.
Then praise the pillars of the faith, we honor,
They are Islam's light, their glory's great,
The mercy of Creator keeps their timeless light,
And thousands of praises raise to them and now!
Shall I raise to the Creator my call for help,
Shall I ask to pardon all my sins,
Shall I trust His readiness to help me ?
To do a miracle's Omnipotent is ready now.
Powerless, I am bent in front of you,
I pray: help me to fight my fails,
Lord, light up my spirit contained in my flesh,
And raise your kind thoughts in the my mind now.
I, weakling, pray to help me,
be kind upon me.
Who was led by you has found his right way.
Give also your help to me, your essence is almighty,
Be also and my instructor, I ask, and now.
To me, a weakly slave, give wisdom as precept,
Give me a strength to council others,
And kindle in my chest unspoken flame,
With brightness you enlighten my poor wits from now.
You give my heart
your light of understanding ,
With all you kindness give me the wisdom, zeal,
To me, a weakly slave, give inspiration flame,-
What you decree, exists eternally and now.
Pray, open the gates of your knowledge
And sow grains of wisdom in my soul,
Save me from the befuddlings and the grieves
And with sound ideas please feed my speech from now.
Please teach me to become a wise I could,
That my rhymes would please your slaves,-
Let me to sing Yusuf, the prophet truest ,-
Give mea a sound mind, the perfect rhymes from now.
Learn you, who was Yusuf, what he did, and heed,
The evil that his vicious brothers could harm him,
As he became a lord of the Egyptian lands,
I tell it all in verses, heed me now.
Once this world has visited Yusuf, his father was
12, beloved by his Lord,
And his grandfather was Ishak 13, faith doctor,
source of strength,
The son of Ibragim 14 , who is revered now.
Let be my speech enlighten by the learning,
Shall scatter roses I, and pearls without count,
Its time for me to sing Yusuf,
And all the rightful benefit by this my tale now.
This tale is better than all other tales, and wiser than them all,
It's sweet to hear, nothing boring's there,
In the Koran this story is recorded, understand,
And came I to the start of this my legend now.
See notes at the end of the poem
Besenyos, Ogur and Oguz
Alans and Ases