We are publishing here on our project blog the translation of a poem by Daghestani author Hasan al-Alqadari (d. 1910) by GlobalLIT postdoc Kristof D’Hulster.
The translation is taken from Ḥasan al-Alqadārī, Kitāb Āthār-i Dāghistān. St. Petersburg, 1312/1894–5., p. 251.
The translation appears in abbreviated form in “The Antiquarian Imagination in Multilingual Daghestan,” by GlobalLIT PI Rebecca Ruth Gould, forthcoming in issue 41 Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics.
(p. 251) Li’l-ḥaḳīri’l-muḥarrir:
Ḳalemin durdı bu mersāda, dėdi, “Ḳalbım olup pür-ḫūn,
Gerek ėmdi bu deryādan olam bir cānibe bīrūn.’
Dėdim, ‘Ey ḫāme-i ǧavvāṣ-i Bahr-i Esved ve Aḥmer,
Velī mevcūd olur bunda faḳaṭ aʿrāż-i gūna-gūn.’
Dėdim, ‘Lā bās, aʿrāżı yıǧışdır bir biri üstine,
Ki onlardan ėdek ibkār fikre zīver-i mevzūn.’
Dėdi, ‘Aʿrāżdan tertīb-i zīver ʿayn-i müşkildir,
Ki cevhersiz ʿarażlar ḳāʾim olmaz, yazdı Aflāṭūn.’
Dėdim, ‘ Ey ser-nigūn ḫāme, mini sen ser-nigūn ėtdiŋ,
Ne çāre, saʿyımız ẓāyiʿ olur bu bārada eknūn.’
(P. 252) Dėdi, ‘Allāh kerīmdir, istiʿānet eyleseŋ şāyed
Tapar aʿrāżıŋa cevherleri eşḫāṣ-i rebbīyūn.’
Dėdim, ‘Güftār-i rebbbiyūnī ḳoy ėmdi, ki yoḳ ḥālā
Cihānda ol laḳab şāyestesi meşhūr-i marżīyūn.’
Dėdi, ‘Vardır cihānda bir cevre-i aḫyār ahl-i llāh,
Olur himmetler ile ǧālibā ḫandān çoḳ maḥzūn.’
Dėdim, ‘ Handan olar ile mulāḳāt eyleyüm ėmdi,
Ėlim çatmaz bu yolda maṣrafa yoḳ māye-i maḫzūn.’
Dėdi, ‘Men eylerim taḥrīr-i bir taḥrīr davrana/deverāna,
Ėder aʿrāżıŋı ḥaḳḳā cevāhirler ile maḳrūn.’
Dėdim, ‘Pes hīle olsa ol ḫuṣūṣda eyle bir tedbīr,
Ki ḫāṭır -cemʿ olaḳ, bu güft-ü-gūda olmayaḳ maǧbūn.’
Dėdi, ‘El-ḥamdu li’llāhi, olmışım nāʾil-i rāḥat.’
Dėdim, ‘Elbette, men senden bu bābda olmışım efzūn.’
Dėdi, ‘Bu istirāḥet vaḳtını żabṭ ėt,’ dėdim, ‘Māhı
Muḥarrremdir, ėder sālın uşaǧ hem żabṭ, ey memnūn.’
Of the wretched author:
My pen has stopped in the harbour, it said, ‘My heart is filled with blood,
Now I must get out of this sea!’
I said, “O reed that dives in the Black Sea and in the Red,
Don’t stay (there), don’t let the hidden gem be lead astray from you!’
It said, ‘This is the Caspian Sea, here one does not find a gem,
All that one finds here are various affections.’
I said, ‘That doesn’t matter! Pile up the affections one top of another,
Let us make from them a thought (like a) well-proportioned ornament!’
It said, ‘To make an ornament out of affections is a difficult thing,
For Plato has written that affections without essence/substance are not permanent/do not last.’
I said, ‘O inverted/vile reed, you have turned me upside down,
What to do?! Now, at present our effort is in vain.’
It said, “God is noble, ask for His aid, perhaps
Devout people will admire your affections as gems.’
I said, ‘Now you stop talking about the devout, for at present
In the world, there is are no people known (to) have been agreed upon as being worthy of that title!’
It said, ‘(No,) there is in the world a circle of good men, people of God,
Apparently laughing with the (i.e. at their) cares, they are (in reality) very grieved.’
I said, ‘Then let me meet with one, wherever from,
On this road that I cannot reach, there is no wealth stored away to be spent.’
It said, ‘I will get myself to writing a statement/I will write a statement to time/fortune/vicissitude,
That makes your affections, together with the gems, connected to/near to/related to God/the truth.’
I said, ‘If there is a way regarding this, then do what it takes!
Let us keep our head, let us not be deceived by this chatter.’
It said, ‘Praise be to God, I have found rest.’
I said, ‘Surely, I am more than you (i.e., I excel over you?) in this respect.’
It said, ‘Take down in writing this time of repose.’ I said, ‘Its month is
Muharram, and uşaǧ (child) records its year, O pleased one!’”
 <FLM>? The translation from Russian suggests emending this as ḳalemim, “my pen”.
 Litt. “leading astray”. Given the Russian tranls., probably to be emended as taǧşiyet, “covering up” > “concealing”.
 Sic, for cevher.
 Sic, for baḥr.
 Sic for bulmaz.
 “Illness, events, accidents, accidentals, bodies, faculties, properties, endowments, accidental qualities of affections of any kind, …” In the tranls. from Russian, “material pleasure.”
 One of the few explicitly Azeri features in this poem.
 ʿArażlar = aʿrāż, see previous note.
 Sic, for çevre, “circle”.
 Gerund of davran-, “to stir oneself” (> I’ll get myself to…), or deverāna (dative), as addressee of the statement? In terms of prosody, deverāna seems more likely…
 In the transl. from Russian, there is a change of subject to the pen already in the second hem. of this verse. The Turkic text, however, doesn’t require this change of subject at this point.
 I.e., recognize your affections as true gems? An alternative translation, more in line with the transl. from Russian, but syntactically perhaps less likely: “will find the gems in your affections.’