A pearl of Turkmen poetry: Kemine in verses and humour

A pearl of Turkmen poetry: Kemine in verses and humour

In the golden fund of Turkmen folklore there are different names and one of them – Mamedveli belonging to the poet, more known by the pseudonym Kemine. He was born so a long time that his life history could get lost in constant change of rapid days. But they remember Kemine and today his image which stiffened in the bronze of monuments, is possible to meet in many cities of Turkmenistan.

Kemine had become legendary yet during lifetime. He came from a poor family daykhan, living in Serahs. Having received an elementary education in his native settlement, Kemine continued his study in the madrasah of Bukhara. A sharp mind and masterful skill in verse played an important role in the development of his literary talent. Diverse creativity of the poet is filled by love and lyrical works, but he was also a satirist, capable to notice all the most ridiculous in the everyday life.

The comic line in the poetry of Kemine has constantly something in common with national folklore which developed of ancient legends, dastans, proverbs, riddles and others. Besides poetry, he was the author and protagonist of jokes, and also a character in Alisher Navayi’s comic stories. At all haughty, and pensive and modest, Kemine was fell in love with people that spoke with them as equals, therefore the humour and satire of the legendary poet do not lose today its urgency.

After pilaf chal was served. Kemine drank smacking his lips with pleasure.
– Molla Kemine, drink without noise, – strictly reminded Pir (in Islam – a leader of a local brotherhood, community).
– Why, if the chal is stolen?
– No, no, – the Pir calmed. – But it does not mean that it is necessary to drink, splashing lips as a camel.
– Well, tagsyr (a respectful address to the direct interlocutor), – agreed Kemine, – next time I will make your way – I will filter through lips, as a donkey.

Short improbable stories about Kemine depict the poet, as optimist, never a desponding person. He is not ashamed of poverty, always aspires to truth and justice, and the tests which have dropped out on his destiny, perceives, as an occasion to reflexions.

Throughout his entire life Kemine wore one and the same fur coat. It was so old that it appeared to be consisted of only patches. Somehow the youth gathered around him. One guy asked:
– Molla Kemine when your fur coat was sewn?
– Young men, – the poet answered, – do not complicate me with foggy questions. My fur coat was created not in a year. Here this patch, for example, was sewn five years ago, and this one ten years ago. Another time show, which part of the fur coat you are interested in.

Many pupils of the divinity school envied resourcefulness and wit, with which Kemine reflected the Pir’s cavils.
– Where you hide a bag with your jokes, – they asked Kemine. We would like to steal it.
– You should steal my fur coat, – the poet burst out laughing. All is connected with it. In each hole – a joke, under each patch – sharpness.

The poetic heritage of Kemine contains not so many poems. However, those works that have reached up to now, are an inexhaustible source of spiritual riches. Poetic works of Kemine are republished and translated into different languages, and the image of the poet again and again is born anew on the theatrical scene.

Life is precisely a girl, pleasant by sight,
For losers prepares hundred insults.
Nomads will leave, and the song will cease,
But nevertheless from wheels in desert the trace remains

Kemine also will tell: no doubts death will come,
The exhausted flesh will return to the dry earth,
They will take your treasury and will weigh each penny,
But the entire world will remains to your sons.

Selbi Charyeva

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