Mikayil Mushfig

Mikayil Mushfig

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Mikayil Mushfig born Mikayil Ismayilzadeh (5 June 1908, Baku
Baku
Baku , sometimes spelled as Baki or Bakou, is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan, as well as the largest city on the Caspian Sea and of the Caucasus region. It is located on the southern shore of the Absheron Peninsula, which projects into the Caspian Sea. The city consists of two principal...

 – 12 March 1939, Baku
Baku
Baku , sometimes spelled as Baki or Bakou, is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan, as well as the largest city on the Caspian Sea and of the Caucasus region. It is located on the southern shore of the Absheron Peninsula, which projects into the Caspian Sea. The city consists of two principal...

) was an Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan , officially the Republic of Azerbaijan is the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to...

i poet of the 1930s
1930s
File:1930s decade montage.png|From left, clockwise: Dorothea Lange's photo of the homeless Florence Thompson show the effects of the Great Depression; Due to the economic collapse, the farms become dry and the Dust Bowl spreads through America; The Battle of Wuhan during the Second Sino-Japanese...

. During the Stalinist purges
Great Purge
The Great Purge was a series of campaigns of political repression and persecution in the Soviet Union orchestrated by Joseph Stalin from 1936 to 1938...

 in the USSR, Mikayil Mushfig was arrested and executed by the Soviet authorities at the age of 30.

Life and poetry


Mikayil Mushfig was born in the city of Baku
Baku
Baku , sometimes spelled as Baki or Bakou, is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan, as well as the largest city on the Caspian Sea and of the Caucasus region. It is located on the southern shore of the Absheron Peninsula, which projects into the Caspian Sea. The city consists of two principal...

 of Baku Governorate
Baku Governorate
Baku Governorate was one of the guberniyas of the Russian Empire, with its centre in Baku. Area : 34,4000 sq. verstas, population : 789,659. The only foreign border of the governorate was Persia, in the south...

 in 1908. He received his elementary education at Russian-language
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

 School in Baku. After the establishment of the Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 regime in Azerbaijan in 1920, he studied at Baku Teacher's School and in 1931, he graduated from the Department of Language and Literature of the Baku State University
Baku State University
Baku State University is a public university located in Baku, Azerbaijan. Established in 1919 by the Parliament of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, the University started with faculties of history and philology; physics and mathematics; law and medicine with an initial enrollment of 1094...

.

Mikayil started his professional career as a school teacher. While being involved in teaching he started writing poems. His first poem Bir Gün ("The Day") was published in the Ganj fahla newspaper in Baku
Baku
Baku , sometimes spelled as Baki or Bakou, is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan, as well as the largest city on the Caspian Sea and of the Caucasus region. It is located on the southern shore of the Absheron Peninsula, which projects into the Caspian Sea. The city consists of two principal...

 in 1926. At about this time, he adopted the pen name Mushfig (Perso-Arabic for "tender-hearted"). Along with Samad Vurgun and Rasul Rza
Rasul Rza
Rasul Rza , , was Azerbaijani writer, Hero of Socialist Labour , People's Poet of Azerbaijan, Laureate of Soviet State Award and the Chairman of the Writers' Union of Azerbaijan...

, Mikayil Mushfig became one of the founders of new Azerbaijani Soviet poetic style in 1930s. He translated a number of poems from Russian as well.

In his poetry, Mushfig glorified the work of industrial workers and peasants and lauded the construction of industrial enterprises in Baku and other cities. According to Mushfig's wife, Dilbar Akhundzadeh, Mikayil welcomed the transition from the Perso-Arabic script
Perso-Arabic script
The Persian or Perso-Arabic alphabet is a writing system based on the Arabic script. Originally used exclusively for the Arabic language, the Arabic alphabet was adapted to the Persian language, adding four letters: , , , and . Many languages which use the Perso-Arabic script add other letters...

 to the Roman script that took place in Azerbaijan in 1927. His excitement was expressed in the following verse:
And at parting,
My soul wants to tell you:
"Goodbye! Your last day has come,
Wretched old alphabet!"


During the Stalinist purges of 1930s, resisting the state attempts to ban the "tar", Azerbaijani national instrument, Mushfig wrote a poem titled "Sing Tar
Tar (lute)
The tār is a long-necked, waisted Iranian instrument. It has been adopted by other cultures and Azerbaijan. The word tar itself means "string" in Persian, though it might have the same meaning in languages influenced by Persian or any other branches of Iranian languages like Kurdish...

, Sing".

Arrest and execution


For his attempts to protect the Azerbaijani culture
Culture of Azerbaijan
Following their ambiguous geographic location, the Azerbaijani culture has developed under influence under both Islamic and European cultures, including its Persian, Caucasus and Turkic heritage as well as Russian influences due to its former status as a Soviet republic...

 from being demolished by the Soviet authorities, Mikayil Mushfig came under the barrage of criticism in the Azerbaijani Writers' Union
Union of Azerbaijani Writers
Union of Azerbaijani Writers is the largest public organization of Azerbaijani writers, poets and publicists. It has over 1500 members at present.-History:...

. Some of the literary figures, serving the interests of Stalin's regime in the USSR branded Mushfig as "chauvinist" and a "petit-bourgeois poet". He was arrested in 1937, charged with treason as "the enemy of the state", and executed in 1939 in the Bayil prison near Baku. He was later officially exonerated.

Published works

  • Küləklər ("The Winds"), 1930
  • Günün Səsləri ("The Voices of the Day"), 1932
  • Collection of Poems, 1934
  • Selected works (2 volumes), 1960
  • Duyğu Yarpaqları ("The Leaves of a Feeling"), 1966
  • Poems (2 volumes), 1968 and 1973
  • Yenə O Bağ Olaydı ("I wish it was the garden again"), 1976
  • Ədəbiyyat Nəğməsi ("The Song of literature"), 1978


Mikayil Mushfig