March 21, 1906|
Yukhari Salahli, Azerbaijan
May 27, 1956 (aged 50)|
Samad Vurgun (Azerbaijani: Səməd Vurğun, born Samad Vakilov, March 21, 1906 – May 27, 1956) was an Azerbaijani and Soviet poet, dramatist, public figure, first People’s Artist of the Azerbaijan SSR (1943), academician of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences (1945), laureate of two USSR State Prizes of second degree (1941, 1942), and member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union since 1940.
Samad Vurgun was born on March 21, 1906, in Salahly village of Qazakh Uyezd, at present Qazakh Rayon of Azerbaijan Republic. Samad’s mother died when he was 6 years old and he was in charge of his father and Ayshe khanim-grandmother from mother’s side. After graduating from school his family moved to Qazakh and Samad entered teacher’s seminary of Qazakh with his elder brother Mekhdikhan Vekilov (1902–1975). In 1922, their father and a year later their grandmother had died and concern for the future poet and his brother passed to their cousin Khangizi Vekilova. He taught literature at village schools of Qazakh, Ganja and Quba. He studied at Moscow State University for 2 years (1929–1930) and then continued his education at Azerbaijan Pedagogical Institute.
In 1945 the poet was elected the full member of the Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan SSR. Futrhermore, the republican Society of Cultural Relations with Iran was founded in Baku in that year and S.Vurghun was assigned as the Chairman of this society. The establishment of the spiritual bridge between Azerbaijan and Iran was achieved through the works of the poet.
Samad Vurghun was assigned the Vice President of Academy of Sciences of the Republic in 1953 in regard with the changes in the life of the country and Republic. He introduced important issues to the social sciences by discussing urgent problems and the project of scientific publication.
In October, 1955, the poet fell ill in his visit to Vietnam as a member of soviet delegation. As a result, he was hospitalized in Beijing, China. However, he didn’t lose his hope and returned to his active life. He wrote short poems when he was at hospital. He returned to Azerbaijan after a few weeks but his health condition got worse.
In 1945, he was chosen a full member of the Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan SSR and deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union of the 2nd and 4th convocations (1946–1956).
Samad Vurgun died on May 27, 1956 and was buried in Baku, in the Alley of Honor.
His first work - a poem “Appeal to the youth” was published in 1925, in “Yeni Fikir” (New Thought) newspaper in Tiflis. It was written as a graduation work from seminary. Samad Vurgun’s poetical talent showed itself in the 1930-40s. His poetical collection of poems “Konul Defteri” (The Soul's Book) and the book “Sheirler” (Poems) were published in 1934. During these years, our Literature and Dramaturgy prospered when the poet created new works using foreign words. There was a significant progress in his works in 1935. At that time, the poet created 7 voluminous poems and about 100 poems written in 1934. His poem “Azerbaijan” is one of the pearls of Azerbaijan Literature. His works cover not only the ancient history of Azerbaijan, natural beauties and recourses but also hospitality of Azerbaijani nation.
The poet’s first book – "Şairin andı" (Poet’s oath) was published in 1930. The Great Patriotic War was of the utmost importance in Samad Vurgun's life. More than 60 poems, including “Bakının dastanı” (Legend of Baku) were written during the wartime. During these years Samad Vurgun glory had expanded. Leaflets with “To partisans of Ukraine” poem were thrown from airplane to forests in Ukraine to support partisans.
Samad Vurgun’s “Ananın öyüdü” (Farewell speech of mother) poem received the highest mark in the contest of the best antiwar poem in the USA, in 1943. The poem was chosen as one of the 20 best poems of the world literature of war theme in New York and spread among soldiers. In the same year "House of Intellectuals named after Fuzûlî" for holding events and meetings with fighting soldiers was opened with his initiative in Baku.
- The Poet's Oath (1930)
- The Lamp (1932)
- The Parched Books (1947)
- The Komsomol Poem (1933, not finished)
- Even (1932)
- Muradkhan (1933)
- Khumar (1933)
- Lokbatan (1933)
- Village morning (1933)
- Death place (1934)
- Bitter memories (1935)
- 26 (1935)
- Gallows (1935)
- Dead love (1935)
- Rebellion (1936)
- Basti (1936)
- A Negro tells (1948)
- Mugan (1949)
- Reading Lenin (1950)
- Aygun (1951)
- The Standard Bearer of Century (1954)
- Vagif (1937)
- The sun is rising (1938–1939)
- Two Lovers (1940)
- Farhad and Shirin (1941)
- The Man (1945)
- Vagif (1937). In this work Samad Vurgun described Molla Panah Vagif’s tragic destiny.
- Khanlar (1939). Dedicated to revolutionary Khanlar Safaraliyev’s life.
- Farhad and Shirin (1941). Poetical drama based on Nizami’s “Khosrow and Shirin” poem’s motifs.
- Human (1945).
- In 1936, Samad Vurgun translated A.S.Pushkin’s “Eugene Onegin” poem into Azerbaijani and was conferred “A.S.Pushkin” Medal by the Committee of Pushkin.
- In 1936, Samad Vurgun translated part of Shota Rustaveli’s “The Knight in the Panther's Skin” poem and was conferred a honorary diploma of the Georgian SSR.
- In 1939, Samad Vurgun translated Nizami’s “Layla and Majnun” poem.
- He also translated a lot of poems of Taras Shevchenko, Maxim Gorky, Ilia Chavchavadze and Jambyl.
Awards and premiums
- People’s Poet of the Azerbaijan SSR (1943);
- The USSR State Prize of the second degree (1941) – for “Vagif” play;
- The USSR State Prize of the second degree (1942) – for “Farhad and Shirin” play;
- Two Lenin Orders;
- Two other orders.
He was married to Khaver khanim Mirzabeyova and had three children:
Sons: Yusif Samadoglu – People’s Writer of Azerbaijan and Vagif Samadoglu – National poet of Azerbaijan (2000) and recipient of Istiglal (Independence) Order (June 2014).
Daughter: Aybeniz Vekilova – Honored Culture Worker.
Poems dedicated to Samad Vurgun
- In 1976, was released a post stamp of the USSR, dedicated to Samad Vurgun.
- In 2006, was released a post stamp of Azerbaijan, dedicated to Samad Vurgun.
In Azerbaijan 70 streets, 7 libraries, 20 schools, 5 palaces of culture, 5 parks, 4 cinemas are named after Samad Vurgun. (Before the USSR collapse there were 38 collective farms) A street in Moscow (Russia), and Derbent (Dagestan); a library in Kiev (Ukraine); school #257 in Dushanbe (Tajikistan); a technical school in Plovdiv (Bulgaria); Azerbaijan State Russian Drama Theatre, and a township in Qazax are named after Samad Vurgun.
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- Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd ed.