Leyla Aliyeva’s Book of Poems “The World Melts as a Dream …” Published
“The World Melts as a Dream” by the young Azerbaijani poet, Leyla Aliyeva, has been published as part of a series by the Translation Centre under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Azerbaijan Republic (AzTC).
The literal translator of the collected poems is Zahid Mammadov, and the artistic translator is Afag Masud. The executive editor is Yashar Aliyev, and designer Aqil Amrahov.
“The World Melts as a Dream” is Leyla Aliyeva’s first published collection of poetry in the Azerbaijani language. The book begins with an essay “Above the Clouds” by Afag Masud, in which she shares her views of the poet’s work. Below is the essay:
Above the Clouds
This collection of poetry is the first book in Azerbaijani written by the talented young poet Leyla Aliyeva, who is known in our literary circles for moving poems, such as “Don’t Go, Mother”, “I will Go and Cry a Little”, “The Swan”, “The Butterfly”, “To Each Their Own End” and “I am Blind”. From her very first work, these poems have shown her own way of thinking and distinctive view of the world. They are like unfading flowers that retain sorrow, love, the warmth of the air, rain, drizzle and scent. For several years now Leyla Aliyeva has been earning the admiration of a wide, intellectual readership.
This book can be called a creative map on which the poet journeys over green, sunlit plains or along serpentine paths through precipices beset by thunder and lightning. As we draw closer, we can see the alienation of the innocent Angel who has come down to earth from above the clouds. We see her life in a foreign land, its meaning, its purpose. She is worn out from “truths” that cannot be grasped, her soul worn thin. She has escaped the narrowness of this world, the constricting frame, and now looks up to the unfamiliar expanses, now looks down with an unexpected thirst for life - we realize that these were the flights of the angel to Earth…
Spittle on the soul,
My heart sank
Between broken lines.
My heart sank,
Burdens grew heavier.
God, where do I go?
God, tell me, take pity me.
Could there be a moment
More powerful than days or months?
Perhaps - and, unfortunately,
Time is irreversible.
Why was the laughter suddenly louder?
What is hiding true smiles?
There’s nothing more sensitive
Than this soul of mine.
Beneath the skin it lies torn,
Beneath the skin, which thickened.
That which costs the most,
Is lost easily, as though cast to the seas.
It sinks. I don’t dare
Throw it a lifebuoy,
I really want to and I try -
But my hands have no strength.
I can’t raise my wrists,
A glance of frozen pain.
The tale is erased from the book,
It can’t be recovered.
They erased my favourite tale,
I want to shout: "Don’t!"
Only there’s no strength in my voice,
My lips burn with an aftertaste of poison.
What changed suddenly?
Winter has come.
But in fact it’s been chilly for a long time,
I just didn’t notice.
The leaves fell from the trees,
Twilight descends in the afternoon.
How can I not believe in this?
How can I not know this?
The author has the outstanding ability to put down on paper all that happens in God’s wide world - pain and weariness, love and sorrow, joy and tears, while retaining the atmosphere of the very moment itself, reliving it with all the strength of its impact. These verses contain an incomprehensible, life-giving energy. Here, grief, sorrow, loneliness and hopelessness are as compassionate and invigorating as love, joy, surprise and admiration of the world’s divine beauty, which is hidden from a simple gaze. But most important is the victory of truth and love over the world, over people’s invented, unsustainable, illogical “logic”.
The Angel is eager to understand the hidden truths of the world. But she is alone on Earth; in this endless stream of people, she has no-one but the dark, still nights, the wind, the clouds, the Sun and Moon. Neither moonlit nights nor weeping rains, neither wild winds nor days, neither months nor seasons melted in the mirage of thoughts and senses can help... Friends, familiar faces... visions stripped of support, foundation, absolute truth... The flickering of mutually contradictory, pitiless mirages...
The Angel is alone in this chaotic world. But she never gives up – like a moth lost in the dark of night, she doesn’t tire of striking the windows through which the light glimmers.
This is how the Angel lives. In the hope of saving the world through love from its manifold ills and sufferings, by fighting the essence of darkness and unfathomable mystery, spreading the delicate dust of his wings to all four corners and losing it, wearing herself out among unanswered questions...
Unable to understand consciousness and thought, living in some untouchable heights, this pain, this weariness is not a human kind of weariness and pain; resembling rain, floods, earthquakes, occasionally the familiar, hopeless stillness of solitary, mute nights, this is a very different pain, a different weariness. It is impossible to leave this world, filled with divine love and mercy, to move quietly away from it, without getting wet and cold and shivering.
It’s the inimitable, boundless love, carried like a torch in the Angel’s heart, that does not let her give up and turn into a human... It is Divine Love that fills her wings and soul with clouds, sunlight, and rain and brings healing to humankind.
The Angel has come to the world with this mission – to give to humankind this Love obtained from the Sun, rain and clouds, which it has long forgotten, and rescue humankind from the dead abyss it has rolled into.
The Angel herself is unaware of this. Though she is able to hold in the palm of her hand the whole world – people, trees, the sea, the Sun and Moon in the Light of boundless Love, the only refuge for the Angel in Heaven and on Earth is her own Soul.
And where did time fly so quickly,
Outside it’s already winter again!
I think I’ve become ill with ennui,
Yes, the soul of summer has caught cold!
Roses don’t bloom under the sun in the garden,
The Caspian sand doesn’t sparkle!
Icy grief burns the chests
Of those who’re forever alone.
Why are you cold, my heart?
How can I melt your ice?
But you don’t want to get warm,
Your soul mourns with winter!
And where did time fly so quickly?
I shouted to it: "Wait!"
At six o'clock the road darkened,
In vain I stretched out my hand to the sun!
If I could reach it,
I would hide it in my hands!
And then the night would not come,
Night is witness to tears!
Forgive me, my heart,
I won’t hurt you anymore!
Nowhere can I escape from you,
And no way can you understand me!
The Angel is here, but she does not know why she has come to Earth. She knows one thing for sure – she is invincible. Like the Sun itself. Like the winds, the rains and claps of thunder.
Over time, the Angel, whose heart is filled with love and mercy, will strike many windows, enter the forbidden darkness, throw open the hidden doors to Salvation, and explain to Humankind who she is. And then ... caught up in the clouds and winds, she will return from whence she came.
The delicate dust of her wings will remain on the window panes. Sun, Rain, Thunder and Wind will not touch these tiny particles of dust. These delicate particles will shine for long years and centuries to come; shedding light all around, they will continue to talk to people.
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