Speech of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev at the evening dedicated to the 90th anniversary of the People’s Poet Samad Vurgun – the Republican Palace, March 7, 1997

Ladies and gentlemen,

Dear friends,

The 90th anniversary of the great poet Samad Vurghun is the holiday of poetry, culture and the people of Azerbaijan. I cordially congratulate you, the citizens of Azerbaijan on this holiday.

I express my gratitude to the distinguished guests who have come from friendly countries to take part in these celebrations.

It is already a year that Azerbaijanis celebrating the 90th anniversary of Samad Vurgun, anniversary celebrations are being held in our country. This is natural, because Samad Vurgun was very precious for our people, he has left a rich heritage, therefore his birthday should be celebrated not one day, one month, but the year. In this period, everywhere, in every house, in every town, in every village Samad Vurgun is commemorated, his poetry is read, his works come to life. And it inspires, pleases our contemporaries, the youth.

Samad Vurgun was born in the beginning of XX century and lived a short life, only 50 years. The 20th century is the period of contradictions, complicated processes in the history of mankind. The time when Samad Vurgun lived was very complicated, confusing and difficult. The World War I caused great damages to the world. Following this, on the one-sixth of the world a new ideology, a new order was established. Then there was fascism, the World War II began and many people died. After the World War II the "Cold War" began, the tension appeared again on the earth and at the same time there emerged forces to protect the world. These were the most significant historical events of that period. To live and to reach such heights of creativity in this period was not destined for everyone.

Samad Vurgun wrote in his time, in his environment, and his contribution to the Azerbaijani literature is invaluable, he enriched the Azerbaijani literature, culture, and world literature. His brilliant talent was very specific. Samad Vurgun wrote, worked from the very young age and in a short time he became the favorite poet of our nation. He was known in both Azerbaijan and in many foreign countries.

The poetry of Samad Vurgun is inexhaustible. Everything written about him does not reflect the breadth of his work. I believe that his work and his heritage will be studied today and in future, and more new works will be written about it.

Samad Vurgun is a great poet. In the East, the poets always deserve the highest respect.  Samad Vurgun was also a poet of poets of his time.

Samad Vurgun brought great innovations to the Azerbaijani poetry. I want to note a point. Our great poet Molla Panah Vagif made the language of poetry closer to the folk language in the eighteenth century. All the layers of the population could understand and love his poetry. Thus he discovered a new path in the poetry of Azerbaijan., continuing the tradition of the Azerbaijani classics Samad Vurgun raised the Azerbaijani poetry to a higher level the 20s 30s and 40s of our century.

The poetry of Samad Vurgun enriched and developed the Azerbaijani language.  He made ​​it close and dear to every Azerbaijani family. This is one of the great services of Samad Vurgun to the Azerbaijani people.

Greatness, the beauty of poetry of Samad Vurgun consisted is in the fact that his every word and every line reaches the heart of every Azerbaijani, conquers his mind, influences him. The poetry of Samad Vurgun inspires our contemporaries, the younger generation, makes them patriots, teaches them to love their homeland, nation and land as well.

The creative creativity of Samad Vurgun is very extensive, varied. People who made speeches before me expressed very good and valid views about it. The drama in verse "Vagif" and the play, set on its base in the National Theatre of Azerbaijan occupy the most prominent place in the creative activity of Samad Vurgun. Today, it can be said in full determination that the play, created by great Samed Vurgun 60 years ago, which develops our theater, occupies the most important place in the history of our culture, and literature of XX century.

It goes without saying that the feature of this drama is that it reflects a period of the history of the Azerbaijani people. It reflects deep philosophical thought, his poetry gladdens every Azerbaijani and makes them love this poetry at the same time.

The drama "Vagif" acquaints the people with such person as Molla Panah Vagif. It should be confessed that until “Vagif” Molla Panah Vagif was not so widely known to the people. Of course, writers, intellectuals and fans knew the poetry of Vagif. I talked about the merits of Vagif in the development of the Azerbaijani literature and poetry in the XVIII century. Samad Vurgun introduced Vagif to the people, made him close to the people, made the people know him.

You are to know that before the performance of “Vagif" in 1937, the name of Vagif in Azerbaijan was not popular, or there were few people with that name. Perhaps no one was paying attention to it, or they thought that the name was common in the past. However, after "Vagif" people loved the image of Vagif created by Samad Vurgun so much, that many families gave this name to their children.

Such studies can be widened, views can be continued. But I emphasize that point, thus, we should better understand the deep impression left by the creative activity of Samad Vurgun today.

I return to the play "Vagif" once more. The National Theatre of Azerbaijan has a long history, great traditions. We have always been proud and are proud of the Azerbaijani theater, which first appeared in the Orient in 1873. In the history of the Academic Drama Theatre of Azerbaijan "Vagif" made a revolution. People of that time remember this.

One of the brightest pages of the Azerbaijani theater is the play "Vagif", its performance on the scene of our theatre for years. It raised the names of the founders of our theater at the same time.

Today we see the portraits, monuments of Vagif. In fact, there is no any of his photos. His image was created by Samad Vurgun, the great actor Alasgar Alakbarov, who plays Vagif, and the Academic Drama Theatre of Azerbaijan.

You see, the drama created by Samad Vurgun solved the great questions of the national culture, literature, and morals. The service of Samad Vurgun to our people is great. Following the path of Samad Vurgun, we tried to perpetuate the name of Vagif, 200 years after his death we built a mausoleum on his grave at Jidir duzu, Shusha. We erected a monument based on the image created by Samed Vurgun , the Azerbaijani theater and Alasgar Alakparov.

Other dramas of Samad Vurgun also deserve praise. "Farhad and Shirin", "Khanlar", "Man" are the major contributions to the Azerbaijani literature, poetry and theater. They will live forever.

Samad Vurgun wrote a large number of poems. All his poems and plays are in verse. All this shows that Samad Vurgun improved and developed our language the Azerbaijani language. This is one of the great merits of Samad Vurgun. Our present language is not the one that existed 70, 80, 90 years ago. Our present language ​​is the Azerbaijani language, which belongs to the Turkic group of languages ​​which originated from the Turkic roots. It is the language that became so beautiful, so rich, simple and sweet as a result of the individuals like Samad Vurgun their. We are proud of this language.

Samad Vurgun was also a great scholar, a philosopher, one of the founders, creators of the Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan. Samad Vurgun was one of the initiators of the Academy of Sciences. He was not only a person elected an academician. on the initiative of Samad Vurgun and people like  Uzeyir Hajibeyov, Heydar Huseynov, Yusif Mammadaliyev, Mustafabey Topchibashov, Mirza Ibrahimov and others the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan was founded in 1945. This is a great historical event. The merits of Samad Vurgun here are great. The greatest happiness is the fact that in the last years of his life, Samad Vurgun was the vice-president of the Academy and had a great invaluable contribution to the development of the Azerbaijani science and literature.

All the works of Samad Vurgun are full of love for Azerbaijan, for the language of the people and national traditions. This is the basic sense and content of the works of Samad Vurgun which reflect his personality.

Undoubtedly, the works of Samad Vurgun were written in the period of his life. The requirements of that period are reflected in the works of Samad Vurgun.  No one should apologize instead of Samad Vurgun today for it. The Azerbaijani people are proud of all the works of Samad Vurgun and will be proud of in the future as well.

In the poem dedicated to the Komsomol, and in his poem "The bearer of the century", dedicated to the Communist Party, he served his faith and remained true to it, while demonstrating a high poetic skill.

Poetry in the Orient was always treated with respect, and each poet was in love with his time and described his time. We cannot say anything negative of the poets of the past centuries, and cannot blame anyone. No one can accuse Samad Vurgun as well for writing these poems.

Samad Vurgun was loyal to his people and nation. He served the awakening of his nation and national revival. Thepoems, plays, dramas of Samad Vurgun rose our people to such a high level.

These are the main features of creative activity Samad Vurgun. That is why Samad Vurgun is so valuable. Samad Vurgun wanted to see his people free throughout his work. Samad Vurgun has always been a supporter of freedom and independence. Samad Vurgun walked shoulder to shoulder with Uzeyir Hajibeyov, Jafar Jabbarli. Samad Vurgun , Uzeyir Hajibeyov, Jafar Jabbarli and many others wanted to see Azerbaijan free and independent.

We have to express our gratitude to Samad Vurgun for the present day, for the general level of culture, literature, science and education of our people.

Everyone has his own destiny. Though he lived not long, his fate was a happy one. He lived 50 years, his poetry wason the lips of the Azerbaijani people and many other nations of the world for 40 years.

Living today in the free and independent country, we must be grateful to the past generations, express our thanks to the people who lived and worked before us, because today Azerbaijan is a majestic, large building. This building has erected by people who lived and worked up to now. In this building each brick is a man. Those people tried to build, establish and develop Azerbaijan. The most prominent of them is our great poet Samad Vurgun.

Samad Vurgun has been one of the most prominent figures in the history of Azerbaijan in XX century with his creative activity, work and socio -political activities. We are proud of Samad Vurgun. We are pleased to celebrate this anniversary with friends, with the representatives of the Republic of Turkey, Kazakhstan, Russia, Georgia, the Republic of Dagestan. This is natural. All the speeches here are very sincere and full of a sense of great respect for his creative acitivity and heritage.

Here we heard personal memories, too. I have my own memories as well. We - the youth were very happy just only when we saw, heard and listened to Samad Vurgun. We lived like this in those years.

I remember that in 1952 there was a meeting of the Azerbaijani intelligentsia it the Opera and Ballet Theatre. The then head of Azerbaijan had a great pressure on the intelligentsia. The floor was given to Samed Vurgun. I remember his speech. When the word was given to Samad Vurgun, all the in the hall greeted him warmly. Samad Vurgun made a very warm speech with deep content. Probably, this speech is published somewhere and people who read it know all about it. His speech was full of care for literature, culture and intelligentsia of Azerbaijan. He was retorted several times, but Samad Vurgun never lost himself, nothing could break his will, and he ended his speech courageously and with a great sense of pride.

Samad Vurgun was an example of loyalty to the people, nation, country and homeland. Samad Vurgun loved Azerbaijan, his people and his language! While recalling it one can get excited. Samad Vurgun could not see the present day, the independence and freedom of Azerbaijan, nevertheless his spirit is with us today. I believe that his spirit is very glad that the Azerbaijani people are free, independent, the Republic of Azerbaijan is independent.

The poem of Samad Vurgun "Azerbaijan" is on the lips of everyone. In these words there is a deep content, every person, repeating the words of that poem, expresses even greater love and loyalty to his people and country.

All know that you are mine,

My nest, my land or my home,

And my native motherland.

Can the soul be severed from body?

Oh Azerbaijan, my Azerbaijan

Bowing to the memory of Samad Vurgun we can say: “Our dear poet, Azerbaijan, which you loved so much, now is an independent country. People you loved are now free”. Today I repeat once more that we shall gladden the spirit of Samad Vurgun in future. The independent Azerbaijan will live long. The independence of Azerbaijan is eternal and irreversible. Our people will always be independent and owner of its destiny.

Long live the independent Azerbaijan!

Long live the creative activity of Samad Vurgun!

Long live Samad Vurgun!