This poem was significant for me as it was a test for hiring me by the translation bureau, as well as because of its title. I remember that day when I was very frightened, as I was a student at that time and had no translation experience. And I did not even imagine that I could manage to do that during one day, and that the result would be really shocking and gladdening. I believe in signs, and you?
Постичь рождения тайну мы не в силах.
До появления на свет наш разум спит.
И только Бог, от колыбели до могилы
О каждом знает, но все в тайности хранит.
Рождаясь, мы не можем по заказу
Характер, плоть, как платье, подобрать,
Но человек способен волю, разум,
И вместе с этим жизнь свою менять.
И лишь тому, кто боли не боится,
И с верой в Бога ищет свет во тьме,
Презрев сомнения, за истиной стремится,
Открыта дверь познания на земле.
From “The Last Life” of Oktai Aliiev
The First Ray
We cannot reach enigma of the nascence,
When our consciousness is still asleep.
God draws all our paths with utmost patience,
The silent author who can secrets keep.
The man is born with flesh and blood, with fears,
He cannot seek the ways to be reborn,
But as he turns the will to rule ideas,
His fate will lose all dominance and throne.
The world is full of pain, dismay and doubt,
Still faith exists despite the stable laws,
The one who trusts in verity and God,
Will find enlightenment disclosed.
Translated by Anush Beglaryan