Not long ago, in a meeting a colleague of mine from Nigeria admiringly told me that I was the first Uzbek person he ever met, but he some time before read a story about Uzbekistan, especially, its traditional “kupkari” – horserace. During that visit, I also met with the director of Rowan University in New Jersey, who showed us well-illustrated books by Hafiz and Firdausi and read and commented some of their beautiful ghazals. A human being will never stop reading, I thought that time. However, there is a saying that “A book is really wealth, but not the book you bought but what you have already read”.
Once at the university a friend of mine compared me to a bird. I still keep in my mind that he advised me not to resemble a bird that intrinsically returns back to the cage when you release it. If I were given a chance, regardless of political, social and economic grounds, I would found an international poetry festival and invite known and unknown poets of our time to Uzbekistan, and would show them the Uzbek traditional horserace, the Navoi Library, Samarkand and Bukhara, or at least I would embrace with joy all those foreigners ready to come to this land to help with translation of the Uzbek literature.
This anthology, along with some examples of work by Alisher Navoi, a XVth century Uzbek poet, father of Uzbek literature, consists of ‘bird poems’ by contemporary world poets, the majority of whom are unknown to Uzbek readers. The poems by various authors from five continents in six different languages have been mainly put side by side with their respective translation in the Uzbek language, and I deeply apologize for any inconvenience when reading this international anthology.
I wish you a pleasant and exceptional flight in this measured life!
With all best wishes,
Download this book: “Қуш тили” (The language of the birds) халқаро антологияси