(Mikayıl Müşfiq), born Mikayil Ismayilzadeh
(5 June 1908
– 12 March 1939
) was an Azerbaijani
poet of the 1930s. During the Stalinist purges
in the USSR
, Mikayil Mushfig was arrested and executed by the Soviet authorities at the age of 30.
Life and poetry
Mikayil Mushfig was born in the city of Baku
of Baku Governorate
in 1908. He got his elementary education at Russian-Tatar School in Baku. After the establishment of the Soviet
regime in Azerbaijan in 1920, he studied at Baku Teacher's School and in 1931, he graduated from the Department of Language and Literature of the Baku State University
Mikayil started his professional career as a school teacher. While being involved in teaching he started writing poems. His first poem Bir Gün ("The Day") was published in the Ganj fahla newspaper in Baku in 1926. At about this time, he adopted the pen name Mushfig (Arabic for "tender-hearted"). Along with Samad Vurgun and Rasul Rza, Mikayil Mushfig became one of the founders of new Azerbaijani Soviet poetic style in 1930s. He translated a number of poems from Russian as well.
In his poetry, Mushfig glorified the work of industrial workers and peasants and lauded the construction of industrial enterprises in Baku and other cities. According to Mushfig's wife, Dilbar Akhundzadeh, Mikayil welcomed the transition from the Arabic script to the Roman script that took place in Azerbaijan in 1927. His excitement was expressed in the following verse :
- And at parting,
- My soul wants to tell you:
- "Goodbye! Your last day has come,
- Wretched old alphabet!"
During the Stalinist purges of 1930s, resisting the state attempts to ban the "tar", Azerbaijani national instrument, Mushfig wrote a poem titled "Sing Tar, Sing".
Arrest and execution
For his attempts to protect the Azerbaijani culture from being demolished by the Soviet authorities, Mikayil Mushfig came under the barrage of criticism in the Azerbaijani Writers' Union. Some of the literary figures, serving the interests of Stalin's regime in the USSR branded Mushfig as "chauvinist" and a "petit-bourgeois poet" . He was arrested in 1937, charged with treason as "the enemy of the state", and executed in 1939 in the Bayil prison near Baku. He was later officially exonerated.
- Küləklər ("The Winds"), 1930
- Günün Səsləri ("The Voices of the Day"), 1932
- Collection of Poems, 1934
- Selected works (2 volumes), 1960
- Duyğu Yarpaqları ("The Leaves of a Feeling"), 1966
- Poems (2 volumes), 1968 and 1973
- Yenə O Bağ Olaydı ("I wish it was that garden"), 1976
- Ədəbiyyat Nəğməsi ("The Song of literature"), 1978