Edited by Aziz Isa Elkun
Translated by Aziz Isa Elkun and others
EVERYMAN’S LIBRARY POCKET POETS
Penguin Random House
An unprecedented collection of poems spanning the rich two-thousand-year cultural legacy of the Uyghur people of Central Asia. EVERYMAN’S LIBRARY POCKET POETS.
The Uyghurs have a long and glorious history of poetry, dating from the oral epics of the second century BCE through the elegant love poetry of the medieval period and up to the present moment -and much of it has never before been translated into English. Uyghur poetry reflects the magnificent natural landscapes at the heart of the Silk Road region, with its endless steppes, soaring mountain ranges, and vast deserts, as well as its turbulent history. Turkic, Sufi, and Persian influences have shaped the poetic tradition over the centuries, and more recently the modernism of the twentieth century left its mark as well. In the face of the systematic persecution of the Uyghurs in China today, which has driven many of their poets into exile, including the editor and translator of this volume, Aziz Isa Elkun, who lives in London. Uyghur Poems is not only a remarkable one-volume tour of an ancient and vibrant poetic tradition but also a vital witness to a threatened culture.