To my brother-poets

Life calls upon us, poets,
Again and again

TEXT BY Temirkul Umetaliev

Bob Thompson, Triumph of Bacchus 1964, © Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY

My friends
With complexions of different hue,
My comrades,
Generous, fearless, and true,
Your writings and deeds must assure
That the planet’s blue skies
Will stay cloudless and pure.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I’m certain
That poets will help one another
With a comrade’s advice
And the hand of a brother,
So that song after song
Like a star will ascend,
So that line after line
Shall fight on to the end,
That no widows or orphans
Should ever start weeping,
That a radiant future
Be built for all people!

Life calls upon us, poets,
Again and again;
Find words that can struggle
And victory gain,
Find words that will offer
New faith to mankind
To help us leave war
And starvation behind.

Translated by Dorian Rottenberg for the journal Soviet Literature 5 (314), published by the Writers Union of the U.S.S.R in 1974.

Temirkul Umetaliev was a Soviet poet of Kirghiz origins. His poetry reflects the themes and preoccupations of the Soviet artists during USSR’s construction and development. His poems may be at times folk, philosophical or about love. He was engaged in a poetry that would assist the Soviet society succeed and persist.