Leyla Aliyeva’s Collection of Poems Published in Kyiv

Leyla Aliyeva’s Collection of Poems Published in Kyiv

   Young poet Leyla Aliyeva’s book in Ukrainian titled Svit tane, yak son (The World Dissolves like a Dream) has been produced by Kyiv-based “Yaroslavov Val” Publishing House.

   The translator is notable poet, translator and philologist Lesya Mudrak, who is based in Kyiv. The editor is writer Grigori Guseynov, a Shevchenko National Prize laureate.

    Author’s pictures have been used in the design of the book.





                                                                                                 The gift to dissolve one’s pain into artistic expression...


Dear reader! You are holding the Ukrainian translation of the book “Свiт тане, як сон” (The World Dissolves like a Dream) by the young Azerbaijani poet, Leyla Aliyeva, who is known not only to the readership across the Caucasus, but also to Euroepean lovers of good solid syllabo-tonic poetry. Her book in English translation ('The World Dissolves like a Dream') was launched in London in 2018 and in Belarusian translation, titled 'Ліст' in Minsk in 2016.

 The Ukrainian reader is undoubtedly familiar with the ancient and famous poetic tradition of this eastern country, the historical discourse of which has ancient depths. And on parity terms, along with purely male Poetry, the female poetic tradition of Azerbaijan is no less interesting. Brilliant poet Mehseti Ganjavi was a contemporary of Omar Khayyam. The art of ashugs has long existed in Azerbaijan, in which women were creative competitors to male writers. Talk is about love lyrics, since 'ashug' can be translated into Ukrainian as 'in love'. The most famous writers are Aghabeim agha Agabaji, Heyran khanum, Fatima khanum Kamina, to name a few. Therefore, it is not surprising that the female poetic heritage has acquired extraordinary sincerity and purity, wrapped in the haze of the Eastern tradition. An echo of the 'gray' times and immortal artistic creativity retains its charm in the modern literary process, which, of course, changes and transforms poetic styles.

 While translating this book, I tried to reincarnate as much as possible into the image of the author, to internally become an actress of her creative mono-performance. Frankly, the work was difficult. It lasted several months. After all, the tradition of rhymed poetry, unfortunately, has been lost, although its origins date back to the 18th century. The basic principle of silabo-tonic poetry (derived from the Greek words “Syllabe” (composition) and “Tonos” (stress)) is the rhythm, described as the beat and pace of a poem and created by the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in a line or verse ... In fact, the form of the text is decisive. And to comply with all formative norms is a super task that the translator sets for herself. In addition to the above, the person who translates the original must convey all the internal collisions of the work with its emotive and plot elements.

What is she like - the lyrical heroine of Leyla Aliyeva? My feelings tell me this woman, who is deep and meaningful, is a romantic at heart and has the ability to see something SPECIAL in SIMPLE things. And she is also an altruist and a person who believes that everything in our life has long been decided by heavenly forces ... And only God knows humanity's mysteries, forgives sins and always leads the righteous to the shining path of universal love.

 Leyla's work is narrative, broad, even to a certain extent parable, which brings her closer to a narrative character, to expanded poems. The book by subject can be structured something like this: love, homeland, philosophy: they organically flow into each other, creating a complete picture of the author's individual style.

 An unprepared reader holding this book may not immediately understand deep overtones of the pages. The reason for this is that the young poet's inner world is opened in a classical restrained style, in fact, addressing us in each poem with Shakespeare’s eternal question “To be, or not to be.”

 The People's Writer of Azerbaijan, Afag Masud, in the foreward to the Azerbaijani version of the book said: “It is impossible to leave this world, filled with divine love and mercy, to move quietly away from it, without getting wet and cold and shivering. And the author has the outstanding ability to put the pain down on paper.”

 Indeed, Pain is the main unit of ontological measurement in all verses of the young poetess. Its hidden basis is felt in allegories and metaphors: 


Black swan, you’re forever alone,

Is it possible to believe a dark,

 abandoned soul?

You are alone, so graceful and severe,

So beloved and so completely alone!

Black swan, hundreds of phrases drown in the river,

Hundreds of moments of our lives

                                    drown in the depths.

Black swan, I know,

not for the first time

Time-forgotten shadows

greeted us there!

Black swan with a soul,

as bright as the sun.

Thank you for these minutes!

Black Swan,

my day was rewarded by beauty!

For this I shall not forget you!


By the way, it is worth noting that the young author is not an urbanist, like most of the poets of her generation. Leyla is in love with nature, with its inner meditative essence, with the existential formula of the whole living world.


Although Leyla Aliyeva's poems contain many fascinating wanderings, admiring other cities and countries, she is most in love with her native Azerbaijan:


The smell of the Caspian Sea, the streets of the Old City,

The summer heat, Khazri, Gilawar,

A noisy crowd of guests,

turning up without occasion...

 Baku, my home town, darıxdım neyi var…


Sometimes it seems that her heroine, who is ordinary by physical appearance but so complex by intrinsic nature, is never tireless, always searching for women's happiness, for example, in “I am that woman / Who is waiting for the bus / Of colouring dreams”. And in the evening the bus of her colouring dream again and again brings her back home, which is cozy and dearer ...


Sadness knocks at the door in the evening quiet,

I forgot to fasten the locks,

Come in, unexpected guest,

Visitors are never dull.


Come in, come in, I'll pour you tea,

And choose the sweetest jam.

I'm with you, sadness, you won’t grow bored,

We’ll have time enough for that!


Maybe tomorrow morning you'll leave,

Promising to return in the evening.

Well, if it rains in the morning,

Then you’ll snuggle close to my heart!


You know, sadness, I didn’t expect you,

And I'm happy to argue with you,

It’s just that I poured tea for two

For I know you drop in so often!


You know, sadness, I must have been rude,

I surely drove you away,

I'm still waiting for you to take pity,

And not steal away precious time!


Maybe I should smash all the clocks?

How else can you fight time?

So, sadness, now you’re here

You’d make me happy if you decided to stay!



Leyla Aliyeva's book is a dramatic sense of the troubles of Earth time. The nature and naturalness of this poetic heritage are combined with the pramatter of the word. The book, which is part of today’s travelling generation and another modernity that is being born, is wandering all through some kind of universal, extra- or, rather, pre-historical, cosmic empyreans ...


Erasing the lived moment from the memory!

The snow melts, answering spring with tears,

Do not look for comfort from others!

Even if you’re alone on this tiny planet,

On twisting dead end roads,

Even if you’re alone, all alone in the world,

Don’t be afraid, because God is near!





Poet, translator, public figure,