A local publishing house called “Mashrab” (actually this is the name of a 17th century classical Uzbek poet) has published this new book of mine, which consists of poems I wrote in both Uzbek and English. Here I post an excerpt from a foreword by my friend Abby Britton, as well as a poem from the collection.
If you are interested in reading this smaller collection, please let me know and I can send you a file for free.
“In ‘My Name is Uzbekistan,’ Mr. Abidov expresses his disappointment in his government and its seeming reluctance to make the effort to share with the world the great cultural and literary achievements that have been made and are being made in his native, beloved Uzbekistan. He expresses his sentiments drawing on the vast and beautiful literary tradition established there, with its customary lyricism. Dear readers, you don’t know, none of us can know what we’re missing. And this book gives us, at least in part and in beautiful language, the reason why.”
My Name Is Uzbekistan
I feel sorry for my motherland:
Where everyone – government or private –
Waits for the order of one voice
Where youth draw the picture of a plane,
Where women and men
in the crowded daily labor market
seek for employers
to earn their piece of bread,
Where people discuss
house construction, short socks
and pompous weddings,
Where creative minds are half dead,
Where there isn’t any international
Where deputies, mayors and the rest
Are caught over
bribery and lust
by Mr Truth who also reports
to the same One Voice…
You might say it’s everywhere like that
but I am not everywhere
My soul resides and my tomb will be here.
I play with the words:
I wish it were not Ooze
It were Big,
It embraced a Ton of Kisses –
After all –
My name is rich
My name is Uzbekistan
and I wish I never felt sorry for myself!