Destined to become a writer
One day the remarkable soviet poet and interpreter Leo Ozerov said: «Nothing would change a biography. What could change an autobiography? The poet´s lyrics could. Here everything was told or left in the air, everything we should know of the poet and of his contemporaries. But if a poet did not express himself in his verses, than the most sincere and interesting autobiography would not help him».
Leo Ozerov was one of Valery Basyrov´s institute tutors. He was the doctor of the philological science and professor, who headed the Artistic translation department at Gorky Literary institute in Moscow. Ozerov had worked there since 1943 till the last days of his life.
You have the poetical book of his student Valery Basyrov in your hands. It was translated from Russian into English by Galina Rud´.
Valery Basyrov´s graduate work was the Yanis Ritsos «Persephone» translation from New Greek language into Russian. It got in 1976 the Master´s appreciation. I guess the teacher would greet as the biography, as his disciple´s poems, like the stages of his life.
In 2009 for the first time I met Valery Basyrov at the International Literature and Culture Festival «Slavonic traditions» in Schelkino town. I took heed to his a bit Asian look. And very soon I found the confirmation of this fact in his verse «Prophetic apprehension: «I see the faces, very arrogant, of Tatar forefathers of mine…» And the patronymic name of this famous Ukrainian writer, the poet, the translator and the publisher, the academician, the first President of the Crime-an Literary academy Valery Basyrov indicates the same.
On September 11, 1947 a child was born in the little Ural village named Sama, which is located in the Ivdel area of the Sverdlov Region. His father Magafur Sabirovich Basyrov was the Tatar. His mother Valentina Antonovna Svishevskaya was the Ukrainian lady with the Polish roots.
Perhaps, Magafur Basyrov did not want to leave his second family, when he decided to visit his father and mother and his first wife and the children for short period and to beg their pardon. But Valery´s grandfather, who was imam and professed at madrasah, decided differently.
Yes, the war disabled many fates and lives… Valera Basyrov, who was born soon after the war, became fatherless. Only the big portrait of a man in the officer uniform with the Great Patriotic War order of the II degree changed the father for him. And Valery also felt the pain for the mother and for himself… And he had the quiet hope for the meeting. It was the wait, hiding diligently from the others…
Valery had all this in his child´s soul for long years. And it was splashed out by the verses in his middle life.
“I recollect, sometimes, they were tormenting,
ineffable, so stretching, gloomy days,
when on the spills the little lights were fading,
and you were tired, reading fairy-tales,
And we kept silence with the inner waiting,
That kind magician´d quietly knock at pane —
at narrow casement, bringing happiness, maybe,
Let it be just by chance or with delay.
And I believed, you see, so much this wonder,
it seemed to me, as if in calm of night:
a person, being chill, from nowhere, one day
a loose fish came, the poor dad of mine.
He sat on edge of our only bed, and
he looked indifferently, being strange,
at dawn, when our hut was getting pale, then
we stayed with you alone… Now I´m sage,
I don´t believed magicians and wizards,
but there is great sadness on your face,
my mam, that´s why, in spite of winds or blizzards,
my door in open during all days.”
Basyrov has lived several hard years of his childhood in the North. There were no his coevals. His friends were the served in the camps people and the soldiers of the guard. There were the real offenders and the condemned unfairly men. I guess that his child´s impressions have left their mark for his life, making him to be very strong in the most difficult situations.
“If you fell down — you are lost…
If you fell down — you are lost:
cold nature tortured unbelievably.
I often fell down, but I rose
among «the enemies of people».
Valery Basyrov wrote the documentary story about that time «Then, in the fiftieth…» It begins with the awful story about shooting of the sick horses. This terrible scene, seen by the boy «in the last morning of his childhood» entered also his poetical work, sounding by the verse:
“The snowflakes were lying
on rosy stains of snow.
I watched with bitter crying
This people´s cruel show.
I try to peer at distance
through frosty dawn with wild mood:
Blood, adults — how to withstand?
Last morning of my childhood…”
The poem «The Bread» tells us about the same period. There are only three mannishly restrained quatrains in it. But see, how many things we could know from them. It was the North with its coldness, where the cruel fate brought his mother and him. They were hungry. And the warmth from, it should seem an ordinary action of the random person, was left in his memory forever. The unknown man presented a strange boy «the brick of the frozen bread». Was not it the luxuries gift at those hungry times?
“There was not enough bread at that time — and that´s why
the ration of mother seemed being the feast.
Unfortunately, I had too few of them in my,
so hungry and short northern childhood, at least.”
One day adult Valery Basyrov confessed: «The nursery rhymes of the northern winds are sounding inside me till now».
Valera Basyrov went to school already in Ukrainian Slavuta town of Khmelnitsky Region. His mother Valentina Antonovna Svishevskaya was from there. And that place became his little Motherland.
“Grasses´re tangled and trampled down
On the precipice of Goryn river.
Over deserted water´s cleaver,
smell of mint runs against around.
With the words of goodbye, pines´re waving
anxiously — facing evening setting…
The bleached huts are darkening; settling
Я covers our paths forever.”
Basyrov went to the Army from there. He served in the Azerbaijan PVO troops. For the first time in his life the writer tried there to work as the military correspondent. Later in Slavuta he got married and has lived and worked for a long time.
Valery Basyrov felt always, that his fate dedicated him in San writer very early. He composed different stories even before he began to read. And Basyrov always was «the unconscious witness of the happening around events». He felt himself to be the Author and people round him were the characters of his future stories.
Basyrov tried to do everything professionally. He left the prestige post of the re-gion Komsomol committee by his own will. And he made it contrary to the asking and even to the threat of the town party guidance. Basyrov began to work in the Slavuta newspaper «The working person of Polesie». And he headed this newspaper Age offices in several years. In 1976 Basyrov got graduated from the Moscow Gorky Literary institute. He learnt the Ukrainian language privately during short period.
Valery Basyrov is a creator on the whole. In the building nuclear station the author began from zero to establish the newspaper «Energostroitel». And Basyrov made the newspaper «The free word» practically the new one in Khmelnitsky town. After removal from Slavuta he became its editor.
As far back as in 1989 he founded the experimental publishing aggregation «The reporter», converted in 1990 into the «Presscenter «Pulse». These were the first, but not the shy steps of the publisher Valery Basyrov in his fate to the business, that became his own fortune.
There was one more experimental publishing voluntary union «ASiA» in Khmelnitsky in 1992. In 1997 after his removal to the Crimea the publishing house got the name «DOLYA» (this word means «FATE»). It explains its sense very well.
In a way, Valery Basyrov finished the XX age with the figure of jubilee. He published his five hundredth book by his private publishing house. It was the great Ukrainian literature classic T. G. Shevchenko´s poem. The latter was published in Ukrainian, Crimean Tatar, Russian and English languages.
In connection with it Valery Basyrov became the laureate of the Ministers´ council award «for the creation of the multinational publishing house «DOLYA» and for the issue of the five hundreds names of books. And in 2010 his publishing house was awarded the status «The best Company of the Year». According to the International rate among the five thousands subjects of Ukraine economic managements it entered twenty of the best ones.
In the Crimea, in Simferopol, in 2005 Valery Basyrov together with his soul mates the writers Leonid Panasenko and leo Ryabchikov created the only one Literary Academy in the world. He became its first President.
The writer met a lot of the barriers in his life. But he said in one of his poems: «I had enough contumacy. God sees I´m always in disfavour». Valery Basyrov had a lot of troubles, struggling against injustice and low action.
«Who are you?
Subdue yourself! —
I ask my refractoriness sometimes. —
The truth will find its way very well without your help.
Feel sorry for yourself».
And I can not —
I will lose respect for myself.”
Not in vain he was the first one in Slavuta, who responded to the call and joined the progressive Ukrainian national movement «Ruh» at the end of the eightieth years. Basyrov became its town section leader. The Slavuta population was joining this organization. The Basyrov´s word was important for them. Sometimes the town authorities had to attach him to resolve conflicts with the people, constantly breaking out at that time. It was not accidental, that Valery Basyrov left the rows of the communist party voluntarily in 1990.
All his life is the progressive motion to the new achievements in the literature, in his publishing activity, in common human actions.
“Again I take road, again no resting,
as if I could know, that next my new halt
will soon grant me something, so beautiful testing,
I could even dream of it never at all.
I´d like, forest road to be very long one.
I can see through anxious fall, picture is wide:
the gentle green bank and the high dark-blue heaven,
my father towards rides on horseback, astride.”
The father… His image was always with the writer. The son thought of him a lot, trying to understand, why… Where is his father? The son was looking for him. But it was unsuccessful inquiry. The year of 1996 brought the awful grief for Valery Basyrov. His mother, Valentina Antonovna, died.
But exactly the stress made him to take the sudden decision, to which he went all his adult life, thinking about it voluntary or involuntary.
As the son of the Ukrainian nation, in whose veins is the half Tatar blood, as true member of the Orthodox church, whose grandfather was the respected person in the Muslim world, he felt the overwhelming wish to learn, to understand the Koran.
And, even more, he decided to interpret his own understanding of this great Moslems´ book in Ukrainian language. He dedicates all the deeds of his own life to this country. The writer has grown into the Ukrainian earth forever. He wanted the main idea of Koran to become clear and close for every Ukraine citizen Valery Magafurovich Basyrov is a person with the Polish-Tatar roots. He gave ten years of his life to this titanic work. Valery Basyrov published many editions of this great book in Ukrainian language with his own understanding and on his own means.
Everything, he has created, was appreciated by the people. And, I hope, his more wide recognition is still ahead. And now the writer and the poet, the translator, the publisher, the academician of literature Valery Magafurovich Basyrov became the laureate of the International community of the Writers Unions award, named by Vladimir Dal, «For the books of the last years» in 2006.
In 2007 he was awarded the Order of the Saint Equal-to-the-Apostles prince Vladimir the Great of the III degree by the Patriarch of Kiev and all Rus-Ukraine Filaret´s decree for services in the deeds of the spiritual revival in Ukraine. And in 2008 he got the silver order of Ukrainian Technological Academy jubilee for services in the development of science, education, industry and art.
In 2011 Presidium of the Ukrainian Technological Academy, noting V. M. Basyrov´s private merits in the branch of the art and literature, assigned him the title of «The leader of Ukraine» with the commitment of the Silver Star order for the important contribution into the development of the state.
The International Writers´ Unions society and the Ukrainian Writers Inter-regional Union assigned Valery Basyrov the title of the International award laureate, named by Taras Shevchenko, with the commitment of the medal and the Honorary diploma «For the first translation of the Koran meanings into Ukrainian language».
Valery Magafurovich Basyrov once admitted: «I am happy to be able to get the threshold of the Regeneration through the labyrinth of the apprehensions. I am happy, that I reached it». The poet Valery Basyrov expresses his feeling in these words:
“Superfluous, among the true prophets,
But, if I am hurt by great passion,
My Father, forgive my transgression, —
I ask that One, Who is my closest:
I ask for the men with maimed souls,
I wash hurts by my comprehension, —
A can see with my contemplation,
What happened with me, what´ll be, so,
I flush my deep wounds, so bitter,
forgiving, pricked to blood by patience,
I see from oblivion´s station
the road, which leads to the Eden.
I see from oblivion´s station,
imagine, the Underworld road, —
so hard from looks being avoided,
I´m pricked to blood by my calm patience.”
The person, who was born as a poet, has been dedicated in San writer since the early childhood, Valery Basyrov has lived with one thought: «Let my song sound always». Let it be that way in his life, in his creation. They are worth these words.
A lot of Valery Basyrov´s works were translated into different languages. This is the evidence that this author is not ordinary personality.
And this selected lyrics book of him was translated into English by the talented Moscow translator Galina Anatolievna Rud´. She is the member of the Russian Writers Union and the member of the Russian Union of writers and translators.
By the word, Galina Rud´ was born and grown up in Ukraine, in Donbass. She went to school in the town of New Kakhovka. After finishing secondary school she came to Moscow, where she god graduated from the Moscow historical archive Institute. She stayed to live in Moscow and gave her heart to its streets and squares, to the images of those famous people living in Moscow years ago.
She became one of the best Moscow guides. She learnt deeply the history of the capital of Russia and studied English. She became the member of the Moscow Association of the guidesinterpreters. She has very interesting cycle of the stories dedicated to Marina Tsvetaeva´s Moscow life. Galina Rud´ is the author of several books of prose and poetry. She translated into English the Russian silver age poetry and, as well, our contemporaries´ poems. She is the laureate of several literary competitions, among them there are the International ones. She had the literary rewards.
The person of the refined aesthetic taste and big erudite, Galina Rud´ caught in the Valery Basyrov´s poetry something, she understood in him when they met. It is that, what was in consonant with her. I hope the work of the creative tandem of the poets and translators Basyrov — Rud´ will be continued and be interesting for us and also for our descendants.
Olga Prilutskaya, Aksai — Rostov-on-Don (Russia)
Translated By Galina Rud, Moscow (Russia)