Alisher Navoi

Alisher Navoi, the outstanding poet and scientist, the person of genius, was born in Herat on February 9 in 1441, in a family of padishah’s dignitary – Giyzsiddina Kichkine. Boy was called Alisher. “Navoiy” (translated as “melodious”) is a pen name of poet.

Herat was always famous for its cultural traditions, but in XVc, under Temurides rein, the culture life in the city reached the highest prosperity. In Navoi’s family Abu Said, uncle of a future poet, used to write poetry, and Mukhammad Ali, another uncle, was known as a talented musician and calligrapher.

Since his childhood, Alisher was keen on reading of Persian- Tadjik classical literature; he studied in Herat, Meshed and Samarkand. Navoi returned home to Heart from Samarkand in 1469 and was appointed to a high state’s position of a Seal keeper, further a vizier (deputy ruler) and got the title of an Emir.

That time Navoi already had a reputation of a virtuosic master of pen. Poet wrote in different styles of lyric poetry- gazels (forms of verses) and kyt, tarjibans and rubai- in all these styles Navoi demonstrated a big potential of his talent and skills.
Navoi started his creative development as a Persian speaking poet, rapidly learned the technique and figurative structure of the Persian poetry. Though, he started writing in the old-uzbek language, and thereby turned his work not only to a high society, but also to common people.

The literary heritage of the great poet is colossal. His gazels- lyrical verses are collected in a big master divan “Treasure of the thought”, which consists of four cycles: “Wonders of Childhood”, “Rarities or Witticisms of Youth”, “Marvels of Middle Age” and “Advantages of Old Age”. To his pen belong a “Birds language” philosophical poem; work in linguistic “Controversy of two languages”; historical work “Story of prophets and scientists”, “Story of king Adjam” and others.

The top of Navoi’s works became “Khamse” ("quintuple")- cycle of five poems: “Wonders of Good People”, “Leyli and Medjnun”, “Farkhad and Shirin”, “Seven travelers”, “Dam of Iskander”.

“Wonders of Good People” (1483)- philosophy- didactic poem, in which a poet criticizes unfair and cruel governors of his time. His verses inspired with ideas of justice and believe in good. Navoi glorifies high moral ideals of kindness, honesty, modesty and humanism.

“Leyli and Medjnun” (1484)- novel about possession with love. The hero of novel is Arabian young man Kaysa called “Medjun”, translated as “possessed with demons”. For his boundless love to Leily he is ready for all trials; he was chained and had to escape and hide. But the power of his love helps him to confront the evil of tribal inequality. But the price for such confrontation became his life.

In “Farkhad and Shirin” (1484) Navoi described the hard work of Farkhad, navy and square man. Poet also uses folk motives- miraculous prophecies and magical mirror. Hero, whose power is exaggerated, fights with fire-spouting dragon and in hand-to-hand combat makes the whole army to run away. The power of love stimulates him for brave actions.

“Dam of Iskander” (1485)- philosophical poem, describing biography of Alexander Macedonian. The poem based on social- utopian poem by Nizami – “Iskander-name”. Navoi describes interminable military campaigns of Alexander, which acts in accordance with advices of council of Roman wise men.

Having neither family nor children poet spent the most part of his wealth for charity. He built a lot of schools, hospitals and caravanserais.

Navoi died on January 3 1501 in Herat. The whole Herat paid its last tribute to beloved poet and wise person. The mourning, caused by Alisher Navoi’s death lasted for a year, such great was a love to person, which devoted his talent and gifts to his infinitely beloved people.