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Contemporary Kazakhstani Poetry and Kazakh Identity

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Searching for the Yet-Nonexistent: Contemporary Kazakhstani Poetry and Kazakh Identity

Aibarsha Kazhyakpar LLL 2020

May 1, 2020

Advisor: Victoria Thorstensson Second Reader: Gabriel McGuire

Submitted to the Department of Languages, Linguistics and Literature in partial fulfilment of the B.A. at Nazarbayev University

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Abstract

This project explores the narratives that contemporary Kazakhstani poets Ardak Nurgazy and Anuar Duisenbinov, who belong to two marginal groups of the society, build around the question of Kazakh national identity. In their poetry both poets use the notion of rebirth which can be found at the core of the most important national program of Kazakhstan

“Rukhani Zhangyru” [Spiritual modernization/renewal]. However, the poets deconstruct that notion of rebirth and reveal the gap between today’s nation and its nomadic ancestors. Their lyrical heroes attempt to reconnect with the nation’s past by reestablishing their relationship with such historical and mythical figures like Korkyt, Kerei Khan, and Khoja Akhmed Yasawi. But the gap between them seems unsurmountable because the modern-day nation drastically differs from its ancestors: it is linguistically and culturally hybrid. This leaves the lyrical heroes feeling disoriented and unbelonging.

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Table of Contents

Introduction ... 4

Government and Identity... 4

Insiders and Outsiders ... 5

Rebirth... 7

The Gap ... 13

Orphans... 13

Failed Meetings ... 17

Hybridity ... 20

The Estranged ... 24

Conclusion ... 27

Appendices ... 29

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Introduction

Government and Identity

After Kazakhstan declared its independence, the Kazakhstani government started the process of constructing its national identity by making attempts to revitalize the Kazakh language and culture. As in many other postcolonial countries, the government also aspired to create a clear and coherent narrative of the nation’s past in order to justify its existence as an independent entity. But the notions of nationality and ethnicity are comparatively new ideas for the Kazakhs. Before these notions were formed, inhabitants of the steppe identified themselves based on their tribal divisions, zhuzes. National consciousness of this group started forming only at the beginning of the 20th century, when the members of the Kazakh national movement Alash Orda and other representatives of Kazakh intelligentsia started referring to themselves as a nation or narod.1 The Soviet government reinforced this nascent sense of belonging to a Kazakh nation by taking “nationality as the basis for the

administrative and political division of Central Asia in the 1920s, together with the subsequent policy of korenizatsiia or ‘nativization’, which promoted local languages and cultures, as well as members of the titular nation into the administrative positions of the local government.”2

But the nationality policies of the Soviet Union were not this straightforward. The Soviet government not only “purified” the Kazakh language and culture and separated it from the rest of the Turkic nations, but also created a Soviet supranational identity.3 The latter manifested itself mainly through the Russian language, which was the lingua franca for all nations of the Soviet Union and served as a means to introduce and maintain the “friendship

1 Bhavna Dave, Kazakhstan: Ethnicity, Language and Power (New York: Routledge, 2007), 31.

2 Sergei Abashin, “Nation-construction in post-Soviet Central Asia,” in Soviet and Post-Soviet Identities ed. by Mark Bassin and Catriona Kelly (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), 150.

3 Yuri Slezkine, “The USSR as a Communal Apartment, or How a Socialist State Promoted Ethnic Particularism,” in Stalinism: New Directions, edited by Sheila Fitzpatrick (London: Routledge, 2000), 430, 451.

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of the peoples” thesis. This put the Russian language at the top of the hierarchy, where the Russian nation also took the leading position. For Kazakhs and all other Soviet nations, this and accompanying nationality policies created a necessity “both to value [their] ethnic culture and imbibe and even treasure the values and norms of Soviet life.”4 As Suny puts it, the two identities “managed to live together, borrow from each other, and create hybrid and shared political concepts.”5 Consequently, independent Kazakhstan inherited a society with strong lingua-cultural ties with Russia. This, together with the fact that the Kazakhs were a minority in their own territory at the time of independence,6 complicates the construction of Kazakh national identity for the government today. That is why it is a project which still resides in national programs and is failing to become the reality.

Insiders and Outsiders

The challenge of having a clear sense of identity is manifested in modern-day

Kazakhstani literature, including contemporary poetry. The latter category can be represented by such poets as Ardak Nurgazy and Anuar Duisenbinov, the considerable portion of whose poetry is devoted to the question of national identity. Both poets are “insiders” and

“outsiders” in relation to the Kazakh community each in their own way, which is why their poetry reveals not just what the notion of Kazakhness encompasses but also what it does not.

Ardak Nurgazy is a 48-year old poet, playwright, and critic, who moved to

Kazakhstan in 2004. He was the chief editor of the Kazakhstani newspaper “Shetel adebieti”

[Foreign Literature] between 2006 and 2008 and wrote articles on world literature for several other newspapers. Nurgazy was born and raised in China in a Kazakh diaspora, which

4 Ronald Grigor Suny, “The Contradictions of Identity: Being Soviet and National in the USSR and After,” in Soviet and Post-Soviet Identities, edited by Mark Bassin and Catriona Kelly (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), 17.

5 Ibid.

6 Juldyz Smagulova, “Kazakhstan: Language, Identity and Conflict,” Innovation, 19:3-4, 306. doi:

10.1080/13511610601029854.

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consists of the descendants of those who left the Soviet Union in the 1920s and 1930s fleeing forced collectivization, famine and repressions.7 After the country gained its independence, the government sought to overcome the minority status of Kazakhs in the country and decrease the effect of strong ties with the Russian language and culture. As a solution, it run the policy “On Migration”8 to incentivize ethnic Kazakhs living abroad to return to their historical homeland. In an interview Nurgazy gives to an Australian poet and writer Ouyang Yu, he is asked about the society’s attitude towards him, and he says: “I am alien to this society anyways, [they see me as] a representative of the foreign literature.”9 So, despite being an ethnic Kazakh, and writing poetry in Kazakh, Nurgazy’s oralman [returnee] status and the absence of a Russophone part of identity equally makes him an “outsider” in his historical homeland.

Anuar Duisenbinov, a 35-year-old poet and translator, in contrast, is a native of the country. Duisenbinov writes his poems in Russian, and inserts Kazakh words, phrases, and lines into them. He explains: “It is not really a conscious experiment, rather it is my inability to express myself in a different way, not deceiving myself and my own speech at the moment of writing.”10 The poet performs on different poetic evenings mainly in the Almaty city, and he also has a project called “Balkhash11 snitsya” [Balkhash Dreaming], where he reads his poetry with background music specifically written for this purpose. Despite having a hybrid linguistic and cultural identity like most of the Kazakhstani population, he says in one of his interviews: “I am an insider here. But also, a stranger at the same time.”12 He says that he

7 Natsuko Oka, “A Note on Ethnic Return Migration Policy in Kazakhstan: Changing Priorities and a Growing Dilemma,” Institute of Developing Economies (2013), 1-13.

8 “On Migration”, Legal Information System of Regulatory Legal Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan, 2011. http://adilet.zan.kz/eng/docs/Z1100000477.

9 Ouyang Yu, “Ardak Nurgazy. Poeziya oidan buryn tuatyn oner,” Adebiportal, 2019, 2.

https://adebiportal.kz/kz/news/view/21300.

10 Sergeĭ Timofeev, “Mir posle vsego. Anuar Duisenbinov”, Arterritory, September 3, 2015, para. 11, http://arterritory.com/ru/novosti/4985-mir_posle_vsego._anuar_dujsenbinov/. All translations are mine.

11 Balkhash is a lake located in southeastern Kazakhstan.

12 Timofeev, “Mir posle vsego,” para. 13.

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receives extra attention on the streets because of his long hair, and him being a representative of the LGBTQ+ community makes him stand out in the patriarchal Kazakhstani society.

The unusual position that Nurgazy and Duisenbinov find themselves in as part of the Kazakhstani society – being ethnically Kazakh but belonging to marginal groups – makes them more sensitive to the question of national, linguistic, and cultural identity. Through their lyrical heroes, the poets explore identity-related issues at the times of the latest rebirth of the nation marked by Kazakhstan’s independence. Thus, while searching for the Kazakh identity through their poetry, Nurgazy and Duisenbinov demonstrate the struggle of their lyrical heroes to belong to a nation with a yet-unclear identity and demonstrate the gap that exists between today’s bilingual and culturally hybrid nation and its nomadic ancestors.

Rebirth

The search for a new or revived identity started as soon as the Soviet Union dissolved.

The new status as an independent country gave rise to the rhetoric of rebirth of the nation which can still be found at the core of Kazakhstan’s nation-building process. In his 2017 program known as “Rukhani Zhangyru,” the first president of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev proclaimed the beginning of the next wave of modernization of the country.13 With the help of this modernization program, the government is trying to construct a new identity on the basis of historical and cultural symbols as to unite the citizens and allow them to feel belonging to the country they live in. As a synonym for the word “modernization” the Kazakh version of the text uses the phrase qaita túleu, which means “to be reborn” or “to regenerate.” According to the document, the nation needs to preserve its national culture but

13 Nursultan Nazarbayev, “Course Towards the Future: Modernization of Kazakhstan’s Identity,” Legal Information System of Regulatory Legal Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan, 2017.

http://www.akorda.kz/en/events/akorda_news/press_conferences/course-towards-the-future-modernization-of- kazakhstans-identity.

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“leave behind the elements of the past that hinder its development.”14 Similarly, the image of rebirth appears in the poems of Nurgazy and Duisenbinov on national identity. The poets explore the new period in the history of the nation and the challenges the rebirth brings.

As his poem “Kerei”15 demonstrates, for Duisenbinov, the nation can be characterized by its cyclical rebirth, and the latest rebirth entails an inclination to reconnect with the

nation’s past. The poem is named after Kerei Khan, who together with Zhanibek Khan united several tribes of the steppe and founded the Kazakh Khanate in the 15th century, which later served as the foundation of the Kazakh nationhood.16 Addressing Kerei, Duisenbinov’s lyrical hero says:

Следов твоих давно не видно ни в песке, ни в иле

Ковыль давно расправился, сгорел

И вырос снова, и примялся сразу сотнями коней на четырех колесах

А потом сгорел. (…)17

Your footprints have not been seen in sand or silt for a long time

The feather grass has long been straightened, and burned down

Then it grew up again, and was immediately mashed by hundreds of horses on four wheels Then it burned down. (…)

The poet demonstrates the periodic regeneration of the nation by the cycles in the life of the feather grass. The cyclicality that starts with the grass growing, being mashed, and burning down can be observed twice in these lines, with some slight differences. When the nation led by Kerei Khan “lived,” it mashed the feather grass. But when the cycle of the nation’s life approached its end, the grass grew and straightened up. So, the two cycles represent two

14 Ibid., 3. Preserving national identity.

15 See Appendix 1 for the full text of the poem in Russian.

16 Kerei and Zhanibek Khans play a central role in Kazakhstan’s nation-building projects. In 2015 the country celebrated the 550th anniversary of the Kazakh Khanate. In the speech given at the beginning of the event dedicated to the celebration, President Nazarbayev said: “At the time the number of people who followed Kerei and Zhanibek was about 200 thousand. Today the number of Kazakhs in the world exceeds 15 million”.

Thus, the nationhood of Kazakhstan is highly associated with the figure of Kerei Khan. “Memleket basshysy N.Nazarbaevtyng Qazaq khandygynyng 550 zhyldygyna arnalgan saltanatty zhiynynda soilegen sozi,” Legal Information System of Regulatory Legal Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan, 2015.

http://www.akorda.kz/kz/speeches/internal_political_affairs/in_speeches_and_addresses/memleket-basshysy- nnazarbaevtyn-kazak-handygynyn-550-zhyldygyna-arnalgan-saltanatty-zhiynda-soilegen-sozi .

17 Anuar Duisenbinov, “Kerei,” 2020, lines 1-4. Retrieved from https://vk.com/balkhashdreaming?w=wall-27257869_888.

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historical periods: one is the pastoral past, and the other is the industrial modernity represented by “horses on four wheels.” The last line of the excerpt describes the grass having burned down, and thus marks the beginning of the third cycle in the life of the nation.

This is when the lyrical hero is remembering and addressing the founder of the Kazakh nationhood, Kerei Khan. By doing so, he attempts to connect the point of rebirth in the latest cycle of the nation with a point in the first cycle and establish a link between the two

historical periods.

The lyrical hero describes his own life in terms of cycles as well and shows the resemblance between his life and the life of the nation. But despite such a resemblance, there is still a disagreement between the two. Having described the two life cycles in the life of the nation by life cycles of the feather grass, the lyrical hero says:

А потом сгорел. А я успел расправиться и стать глубоким вдохом

И сгореть. И фениксом стыда восстать18

Then it burned down. And I had time to straighten up and turn into a deep breath And burn out. And rise up as a phoenix of

shame

The lyrical hero straightens up, burns out and rises back in the form of a phoenix just like the feather grass and the nation do. He finds himself in the timeline of the nation’s history and becomes a continuation of this cyclicality. However, at the time of the third rebirth which is described in the first line of this excerpt, where the feather grass “burned down,” the lyrical hero “had time to straighten up and turn into a deep breath” [emphasis added]. So, the time his life cycle starts does not coincide temporally with the nation’s rebirth, it occurs earlier.

The cycles are not “in rhythm,” there is a disharmony between the nation and the lyrical hero.

18 Duisenbinov, “Kerei,” lines 4-5.

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Ardak Nurgazy also looks at the history of the nation through the lens of cyclicality.

In his narrative poem “Korkyt,”19 he explores the nation’s rebirth through several images that allow time in the poem acquire cyclical nature. Things transform and gain new forms or states: clouds turn into rain, seasons replace one another, and one life ends, giving way to a new one. Unlike in Duisenbinov’s poem, however, the life of the nation is not only described by natural processes but is also juxtaposed to the life of the humanity as a whole. The preface to the poem describes several cycles represented by different forms of relationships a human being had throughout its history. Nurgazy writes:

Таным тұрғысынан Жаратушы мен адам, табиғат пен адам, қоғам мен адам, адам мен адам байланысын бастан өткердік.

Жаратушыны жоққа шығардық, табиғатты

«өзгерттік», қоғамды қан төгуге бейім қатігез төңкеріске үйреттік, адамға адам «қасқыр»

дедік. Төртінші айналымнан соң бізді енді не күтіп тұр?20

In terms of cognition, we have experienced the connection between God and human being, nature and human being, society and human being, as well as between human being and human being. We have denied the existence of God, “changed” the nature, taught the society to make bloody and violent revolutions, and became “wolves” to each other. What is waiting for us after the fourth cycle?

According to this excerpt, a human being established four types of relationships during the four cycles humanity experienced, and later destroyed them. The narrator is puzzled because he does not know what the fifth cycle entails. It might return the human being back to the beginning, and therefore signify the reestablishment of human’s connection with God, or it may equally signify the beginning of something new.

The figure that Nurgazy juxtaposes to the image of God is a semi-mythical songwriter and composer Korkyt, whose name is the title of this poem. Korkyt supposedly lived in the 8th-9th century in the modern-day Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, or Tajikistan area.

Myths, like that of Korkyt, play an important role in the formation of national identity. In his

19 See Appendix 3 for the full text of the poem in Kazakh.

20 Ardak Nurgazy, “Korkyt,” in Literaturnyĭ al’manakh Kazakhstan-Rossii͡a, 2017, preface.

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book National Identity, Smith claims that there is often no clear border between history and mythology when it comes to national (or ethnic) identity of a certain group.21 The same phenomenon can be observed in the matter of historicity of Korkyt: it is still debated whether he is a product of imagination or he truly existed. But, as Smith points out, it is the effect of stories about such mythical or historical figures that is significant in fostering nationhood.22 Myths construct a certain portion of what is perceived as shared historical memories of the community. Historical events – like the foundation of the Kazakh Khanate, for example – matter as well, but the value of those events is dictated by the legends that surround them.23 Thus, history together with myths and legends, becomes one of the building blocks of

national identity. In his article about Korkyt, Nurgazy explains the importance of myths about this semi-mythical figure for the nation. He states:

The phenomenon of Korkyt is the central source of spiritual energy for the Central Asian nations. […He] is a mythical representation of the notion about the Creator, which although has faded, has not been completely erased.24

So, in the same way as one may return to the Creator in the times of crisis, the lyrical hero affiliating himself to the Kazakh nation returns to Korkyt and the myths that surround him.

In the poem, the lyrical hero tries to reconnect with Korkyt at the time of the nation’s latest rebirth by enacting another “rebirth” in his mind. Nurgazy writes:

Миымның жықпылында аққан жұлдыз сөнді,

Орнында бостық, мөлдірейді есте қалу мен ұмыту.

The star that fell at the edge of my consciousness was extinguished, A void is left, glimpses of memory and

oblivion.

21 Anthony D. Smith, National Identity (Reno, NV: University of Nevada Press, 2013), 22.

22 Smith, National Identity, 22.

23 Ibid.

24 Nurgazy, Ardak. “Korkyt olgen kun,” 2020, para. 1-2. Retrieved from http://www.thebilge.kz/e/action/ShowInfo.php?classid=6&id=3539.

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Мен туғанда аспан күңіреніп, жұрт

қорқып, соңынан қуанған деседі25 They say, when I was born, the sky turned dark, people were frightened, but then rejoiced

This excerpt is written from the first-person perspective, but the narration almost

unnoticeably shifts from one “I” to the other. The first two lines are told from the lyrical hero’s perspective, and they describe the ending of one life by the image of a star that is extinguished. The last line, “They say, when I was born, the sky turned dark, people were frightened”, however, refers to the legend about the birth of Korkyt. So, the lyrical hero experiences a reverse “reincarnation”: he envisions a “death” followed by a “rebirth” of one of the most powerful figures in the nation’s culture. Nurgazy’s lyrical hero is not just trying to connect the points in history like Duisenbinov’s lyrical hero does, he aims at awakening his connection with the nation’s history and mythology and becoming one with Korkyt in his imagination.

The lyrical hero enacts the imaginary reincarnation in order to understand his own place as a human being and as a member of the nation. In this new and uncertain era in which he finds himself, he addresses God:

Неге Тәңірім осы әрі сол жерде сенің емес, оның атын атаудан тыйыламын,

Сен үшін мен кіммін?26

My Lord, why here and there I halt on calling his (its) name, and not yours,

Who am I for you?

The pronoun onyng means both “his” and “its,” so the first line can be read as “My Lord, why here and there I halt on calling his name” [emphasis added]. In this case, the one who is addressing God is the lyrical hero himself, and the figure referred to by the pronoun “his” is Korkyt. By juxtaposing Korkyt to God and comparing the two, the lyrical hero admits that Korkyt has more power and authority over him than God. But because the lyrical hero has

25 Nurgazy, “Korkyt,” I, lines 7-9.

26 Nurgazy, “Korkyt,” I, lines 37-39.

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been “reincarnated” as Korkyt, these lines can also be read as Korkyt himself talking to God.

According to one of the legends, God promises immortality to Korkyt, if he does not think about death or mention it in his speech. That is why in the poem, Korkyt is asking the reason why he needs to “halt on calling its name” [emphasis added], the name of death, and not God’s. By allowing these lines to acquire two different meanings, Nurgazy shows the complexity of the situation the lyrical hero finds himself in. He is witnessing a new phase in the life of the nation for which Korkyt is the major figure; and he is living in the new era in human history at the same time, for which the most powerful figure is God. The uncertainty about what the new cycle brings makes him wonder about the purpose of his own existence, so he, both as himself and as a “reborn” Korkyt, asks God: “Who am I for you?”. The question, however, is left unanswered, and the lyrical hero is disoriented.

The Gap Orphans

The lyrical heroes of Nurgazy and Duisenbinov find touchpoints with the nation’s history in ancestor figures like Kerei or Korkyt and enact their own individual “rebirths,” but still fail to find their place in the world or as part of the nation. The reason lies in the absence of clear kinship relations with these mythical and historical figures. Each poet conveys this idea through an image of a lonely boy who cannot build a relationship with his roots, and thus turns into an “orphan.”

In Nurgazy “Korkyt” which was analyzed above, the past and the present of the nation are connected, the lyrical hero envisions his “reincarnation” as Korkyt, but their link seems to be weak. So, a few lines later, we see a boy wandering around and finding himself at the place which was home to his ancestors:

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Иен қалған жұртта ит пен бала жүр, көк аспан төбеден төнген

Қалықтап жүрген қарақұсқа ит тұмсығын көтеріп үйіріліп ұлиды, өшкін тартқан көрініс27

On an abandoned camping ground, a boy and a dog are roaming, the blue sky is hanging over their heads.

The dog howls, turning its nose up to the sky to a soaring imperial eagle, a fading scene.

The image of a camping ground represents the lifestyle of the Kazakhs until the beginning of the 20th century. As part of the Soviet First Five-Year-Plan of 1929, however, the Kazakh steppe needed to undergo a dramatic transformation: the nomadic nation was to be forcefully sedentarized.28 The “return” to a camping ground in the poem, after the nation’s lifestyle has long been changed, signifies what Smith calls the “return to ‘nature’ and its ‘poetic spaces’.”

According to him, this “nature and these spaces (…) constitute the historic home of the people, the sacred repository of their memories.”29 By wandering in the place his ancestors used to inhabit, the boy re-members the nation’s history and therefore re-creates it. But because of the transformation that the nation went through, the lyrical hero finds nobody in his historic home. The “return” is not necessarily voluntary: the only verb that describes the lyrical hero is “roaming.” The verb does not point at him having an aim or eagerness, so it is unclear whether the lyrical hero goes to the place purposefully or just finds himself there and starts roaming. Young and lonely he becomes an heir of this place, having no option other than accepting the situation.

A similar image of a lonely “orphan” appears in Duisenbinov’s poem “V Astane”30 [In Astana] as well, however unlike Nurgazy’s lyrical hero, this boy is clearly not concerned with his origins. Duisenbinov writes:

…бежит подле них золотой ручей …a golden stream runs beside them

27 Nurgazy, “Korkyt,” lines 15-16.

28 Sarah Cameron, “Nomads under Siege: Kazakhstan and the Launch of Forced Collectivization,” in The Hungry Steppe: Famine, Violence, and the Making of Soviet Kazakhstan, Cornell Scholarship Online, 2019.

doi:10.7591/cornell/9781501730436.001.0001.

29 Smith, National Identity, 65.

30 See Appendix 1 for the full text of the poem in Russian.

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И купается в нем ребенок, плескается, брызжет золотом, спросишь “чей?”

А он только молчит и кивает в сторону горизонта

Да ветер шепнет “ничей.”31

A child bathes in it, splatters gold, you would ask “whose [child] are you?”

But he remains silent, he nods towards the horizon

And the wind whispers “nobody’s.”

This child has no-one beside him, and does not know to whom he belongs, except having a vague awareness of the place somewhere on the horizon. Compared to the boy in Nurgazy’s poem, Duisenbinov’s orphan is in the state of happy ignorance, the emotions of the boy are not described, and yet the verbs that refer to his actions, “bathes,” “splatters,” are those depicting a cheerful careless individual, who is not mindful enough to find out his origins.

The wind, in contrast, acquires an omniscient and omnipotent quality in the poem. It is constantly present, and it carries away “dust and memory, and road repair,” and can even

“expos[e] time.”32 This wind serves as an objective perspective, and claims that the boy does not belong to anyone: he is “nobody’s.”33 In order to be considered belonging to a nation, he would need to have some kin relationships with other people. Describing the characteristics and constituents that are necessary to be considered a nation, Smith makes a distinction between Asian and Western nations, and claims that the characteristic that distinguishes the Asian model is the importance of having common descent.34 The lyrical hero of this poem has no connection to, or common descent with anyone, which makes him an “orphan,” like Nurgazy’s lyrical hero.

Unlike Nurgazy, however, Duisenbinov chooses to physically distance his lyrical hero from his ancestors. If in Nurgazy’s poem, the boy is roaming on the same camping ground where his ancestors once lived, Duisenbinov’s “orphan” is bathing in a different place. The

31 Anuar Duisenbinov, “V Astane,” 2019, lines 14-17. Retrieved from https://vk.com/@balkhashdreaming-v-astane.

32 Duisenbinov, “V Astane,” lines 3-5.

33 Ibid., 17.

34 Smith, National Identity, 22.

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hypothetical interlocutor of the latter, who is referred to as “you,” is outraged seeing him happy and careless, so he tries to correct the situation:

И ты спрашиваешь, какого такого понта?

Ты чего потерял здесь? Иди отыщи деда своего Коркыта

Он все там же бродит, на бульваре, у разъебанного корыта35

And you would ask, why the hell?

Have you lost something here? Go find your grandpa Korkyt

He still wanders in the same place, on the boulevard, by a fucking broken trough

In the poem, the figure of Korkyt represents the nation’s ancestry with whom the boy is supposed to reconnect. The interlocutor asks the boy whether he has “lost something here

and tells him to “go find” his grandpa Korkyt, which shows that there is some physical distance between the two [emphases added]. Together with the “orphan’s” disinterest, this makes the process of building a relationship with the past more challenging. And yet it is important to note that the interlocutor tries to shorten this distance by referring to the boy’s ancestor as “your grandpa Korkyt.” The possessive pronoun “your,” as opposed to “our,”

makes the relationship between the boy and Korkyt appear more direct and less abstract. The informal word “grandpa” also marks the relationship as being closer and more intimate in a way that the word “grandfather” could not. But despite his attempts to make the connection between the boy and his ancestor appear as strong, the boy does not attempt to reestablish that relationship.

The problem is further aggravated because the modern interpretation of Korkyt, and the history and culture he is supposed to stand for, does not have anything to offer to the little

“orphan.” Korkyt is described as wandering “on the boulevard, by a fucking broken trough.”

This is a modified version of the Russian idiom u razbitogo koryta [by a broken trough], so the poem suggests that Korkyt is left with nothing. The boulevard the poem refers to is the

35 Duisenbinov, “V Astane,” lines 18-20.

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Nurzhol Boulevard, “the central axis of the [capital] city,”36 which is also a manifestation of the absence rather than the presence of rich culture and heritage. In his article on the role of myths and fantasies in building Astana (now Nur-Sultan), Akulov shows that the main constructions on the boulevard, Bayterek and Khan Shatyr, represent Nazarbayev’s attempts to build a post-Soviet Utopia. This, however, is envisioned and presented as an act of

reconnection with the nation’s past. Describing Khan Shatyr, the gigantic neo-futurist tent which was supposed to epitomize the nomadic lifestyle of the steppe inhabitants, Akulov writes:

(…) it is no less obvious that the ‘tent’ remains a fixed structure, that is to say, no tent at all. With the building thus functioning as a monumental theatrical prop, the

superficial resemblance gives substance to the contrary assertion, to wit, that of Kazakh sedentariness (…).37

Thus, the Nurzhol Boulevard, which unites several constructions like Khan Shatyr, becomes an embodiment of modern interpretation of the Kazakh culture and heritage. Just like the broken trough, the latter retains the form but serves no use in the spiritual journey of the

“orphans” of the independent Kazakhstan.

Failed Meetings

Despite their orphan-like state, however, the lyrical heroes of Nurgazy and

Duisenbinov’s other poems display a strong eagerness to meet with historical figures. The chance to talk with them either appears or is envisioned as possible by the lyrical heroes themselves, and yet both meetings fail to take place. The poems reveal the gap which

36 Mikhail Akulov, “Eternal Futurostan: Myths, Fantasies and the Making of Astana in Post-Soviet Kazakhstan,” in Theorizing Central Asian Politics: The State, Ideology and Power, edited by Rico Isaacs and Alessandro Frigerio (Oxford: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), 201.

37 Ibid. 202.

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separates the lyrical heroes from their ancestor figures and serves as an obstacle in their attempts to reconnect.

In his poem “Yasaui kesenesi” [The Mausoleum of Yasawi],38 Nurgazy’s lyrical hero visits one of the most important constructions on the territory of the country in terms of its cultural, historical and religious meaning for the nation. It is the mausoleum where the famous Turkic poet and Sufi mystic of the 12th century Khoja Ahmed Yasawi is entombed.39 When the lyrical hero comes to this sacred place, he sees several people in front of the building. One of them is an old man, who is drawing scribbles on earth. This alludes to the poetic activity of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, and thus shows that the old man is the

personification of this historical figure. Nurgazy’s lyrical hero wants to meet the poet, but by the time he decides to approach him, the man has already left:

Аулаға кіріп, қайта шыққанымда Кезіктіре алмадым қартты Таяғы сол баяғы орнында тұр Алыста бір бейне ескен желдей ұзап барады40

When I entered the yard and left again I couldn’t meet the old man

His stick is still in its place

In the distance a figure resembling a blowing wind is moving away

The lyrical hero’s entrance to the mausoleum divides the poem into “the present” and “the past.” The two periods strikingly differ from each other. Before the lyrical hero enters the yard, the area is full of people, each of whom is involved in some sort of activity: “a boy running from his mother, [laughing],” “someone dragging a cart,” “the old man drawing.”41 But when he leaves, he finds the place deserted, the people are gone, only the cart and the old

38 See Appendix 3 for the full text of the poem in Kazakh.

39 The mausoleum was commissioned by Timur (also known as Amir Timur or Tamerlane), who ruled the area of the Timurid Empire in the 13th century. The building is included in the list of World Heritage Sites protected by UNESCO. The organization describes it as representing “an exceptional testimony to the culture of the Central Asian region” and being “closely associated with the diffusion of Islam in this region with the help of Sufi orders, and with the political ideology of Timur”. “Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi,” The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, World Heritage Convention, para. 5, 7.

https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1103/.

40 Ardak Nurgazy, “Yasaui kesenesi,” 2018, lines 13-16. Retrieved from

https://web.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2220803478163407&set=a.1396497670593996&type=3&theater.

41 Nurgazy, “Yasaui kesenesi,” lines 9-11.

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man’s stick are left behind.42 The single moving object is the old man himself far in the distance, who “resembl[es] a blowing wind” and thus has an almost magical and mythical feel to him. The lyrical hero feels like he happened to be a witness of “the past”: “It looks like a scene from thousand years ago / Everything has changed.”43 The only things that unite the two periods are the things that people from “the past” have left behind and the mausoleum itself. The lyrical hero’s wish to meet the old man does not come true, so “the past” and “the present” fail to cross.

In the same manner, Duisenbinov’s “Kerei” shows the desire of the lyrical hero to chase Kerei Khan and ask him questions. Duisenbinov writes:

Куда идёшь ты, что ты ищешь (…)

Я догоню тебя, и я задам вопросы (…)

Я посмотрю в твои усталые глаза И сам себе отвечу44

Where are you headed, what are you looking for (…)

I will catch up with you, and ask you questions (…)

I’ll look in your tired eyes And answer my own questions

The poem is a monologue of the lyrical hero. He envisions himself following the khan, and just like in Nurgazy’s poem, the reason for meeting or the matter the lyrical hero wants to discuss with the historical figure is not mentioned. In the end, the meeting does not take place either. The lyrical hero understands that even if he could catch up with the khan, it would not change anything. Everything the lyrical hero needs to know is known to him; it is in him because he still belongs to the same tradition. Duisenbinov writes: “Мне конь не нужен, буду всадник ветра” [I don’t need a horse, I’ll be a rider of the wind].45 The identity of a rider is still present, so he is the continuation of the nomadic traditions of his ancestors. And yet the times have changed drastically, and the rider of today is different. The lyrical hero

42 Ibid., lines 15-18.

43 Ibid., lines 19-20.

44 Duisenbinov, “Kerei,” lines 8, 17, 30-31.

45 Duisenbinov, “Kerei,” line 18.

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does not ride a horse anymore, he prefers the wind instead. He feels like he still is the heir of the nomadic past and heritage, but his transformation does not allow him to establish a direct contact with his ancestor. Thus, the failure to meet with historical figures in both poems points at the gap that exists between the pre-Soviet Kazakhs and their modern-day descendants.

Hybridity

The inability of the lyrical heroes to reconnect with the nation’s past is conditioned by the transformation that the nation went through partially as a consequence of globalization and modernity, but mainly as a result of the Soviet project which produced hybrid

individuals. The Soviet identity for Kazakhs consisted of Russianness as well as Kazakhness during the USSR period, which is why the Russian language and culture are still significant for modern-day Kazakhs. As Goble puts it, “no past identity ever completely disappears.”46 Nurgazy, not being fluent in Russian, and having not experienced personally the effects of the Soviet hybridizing project, does not discuss the Kazakh-Russian hybridity in his poetry. As a Chinese emigrant, the poet has a different kind of hybridity, but he rarely raises this topic in his poetry. In Duisenbinov’s poetry, on the other hand, hybridity is one of the main concerns.

Both the Kazakh and Russian languages are native and both cultures are valuable to the poet, and that is reflected through his lyrical heroes. In the interview he gives to Timofeev,

Duisenbinov explains: “(…) mixing of languages comes from the roots. That is why the fruits are the same [mixed]. I am here just to pick them, taste them and try to describe the taste.”47 The mixed language becomes a poetic tool in many of Duisenbinov’s poems, which aurally and visually represents the hybridity he talks about in his poems.

46 Paul Goble,“Identity Recovered vs Identity Redefined: Three Post-Soviet Cases.” In Identity and Politics in Central Asia and the Caucasus, edited by Mohammed Ayoob and Murad Ismayilov (Routledge:

London and New York, 2015), 80.

47 Timofeev, “Mir posle vsego,” para. 11.

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Duisenbinov’s poem “Metamorf” [A Metamorph],48 for example, depicts the

linguistic and cultural hybridity of the lyrical hero. Describing the feeling that the lyrical hero experiences having two native languages, the poet writes:

Очень странно переживать за казахский по- русски49

How odd it is to worry about Qazaq in Russian50

The lyrical hero expresses his care about the Kazakh language. Him feeling “odd” about this situation shows his assumption that the sign of truly caring about a language must be

manifested in not just speaking but also thinking, and, in this situation, caring in that language, thus having an almost natural connection with it. The lyrical hero’s bilingualism, however, allows him to divide the phenomenon of love towards a language into components and perform them separately. He loves the Kazakh language and worries about its future, but does it in Russian, which equally is his native language. It is important to note that the poem itself is also written in the Russian language, so its form reinforces the meaning of its content:

the worries of the poet and his lyrical heroes are manifested in Russian, not in Kazakh.

Sometimes Duisenbinov chooses to depict the hybridity of his lyrical heroes only through form, but that form plays with the content, adding more layers to its meaning. In the lines from his poem “V Astane,” which were analyzed earlier, Duisenbinov juxtaposes the two parts of the lyrical hero’s cultural identity. He writes:

(…) Иди отыщи деда своего Коркыта Он все там же бродит, на бульваре, у

разъебанного корыта51

(…) Go find your grandpa Korkyt He still wanders in the same place, on the

boulevard, by a fucking broken trough

48 See Appendix 1 for the full text of the poem in Russian and Appendix 2 for its English translation.

49 Anuar Duisenbinov, “Metamorf,” Polutona 1.01, (2015), line 1, http://polutona.ru/?show=0311123825.

50 Anuar Duisenbinov, “A Metamorph,” Unpublished manuscript, translated by Victoria Thorstensson (2019), line 1.

51 Duisenbinov, “V Astane,” lines 19-20.

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The poet rhymes two words “Korkyta” and “koryta” [trough] which refer to the mythologies and fairytales of two different cultures. If Korkyt is a semi-mythical ancestor figure of the Kazakh nation, “by the broken trough” is a phrase taken from Pushkin’s “The Tale of the Fisherman and the Fish” which turned into an idiom. So, while inviting the lyrical hero to return to his roots and reestablish his relationship with his “grandpa Korkyt,” the hypothetical interlocutor describes Korkyt with a Russian idiom. The lines show that cultural hybridity allows to compensate the lack of knowledge of one culture with its analogues in the other.

This demonstrates how the interlocutor scolding the child himself is incapable of separating the two parts of his identity.

Duisenbinov’s poem “Kerei” also vividly depicts how the two parts of his lyrical hero’s linguistic hybridity coexist. He writes:

А я наивный лёгкий мальчик- көбелек52

And I am a naïve featherweight butterfly- boy

The combination of two words that the lyrical hero uses to describe himself, “butterfly-boy,”

is a linguistic representation of the components of his cultural and linguistic hybridity: the word malchik [boy] is a Russian word, whereas kobelek [butterfly] is a Kazakh word. Besides its original meaning, the second component word, kobelek, also resembles the Russian word kobelyok, which is a masculine diminutive form of the word “dog.” Because the Russian letter “ё” [yo] is being used less often in print, the Kazakh word kobelek can easily be read as the Russian word. So, the two components of the lyrical hero’s identity do not simply co- exist like in a compound word. The doubling in the second word shows that the Russian component of the lyrical hero’s identity shines through the Kazakh identity. The two components cannot be easily separated: they are blended into each other.

52 Duisenbinov, “Kerei,” line 14.

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Duisenbinov’s poem “Tilech”53 demonstrates how this fluid identity can be

manifested in everyday life. It shows the process of inheritance of hybridity by a five-year old child, whose parents demand him speaking Kazakh, themselves using Russian to

communicate. The title of the poem, “Tilech,” is a non-existing word that describes the new

“language” that the Kazakhs speak today. Because of their bilingualism, Kazakhs frequently codeswitch between two languages. So, the word tilech is a combination of the Kazakh word til [language], and the Russian word rech’ [speech] which demonstrates how the two

languages “harmoniously” weave into each other.

In the poem, Duisenbinov shows how this new “language,” which appears when mixing Kazakh and Russian, sounds. As a result of the difference between the parents’

demands and behavior, the child ends up learning to speak in tilech. So, Duisenbinov writes:

(…) будучи уже взрослым

сам он будет задавать вопросы на манер мамамның братының қызы маған бөле ме54

(…) when he becomes an adult He will also ask questions à la

is the daughter of my mama’s [mom’s] brat [brother]

called maternal cousin

In the last line, the lyrical hero inserts the Russian words mama [mother] and brat [brother], into a Kazakh sentence, and connects them to the rest of the words by Kazakh noun endings.

But despite the grammatical agreement, and the visual harmony conditioned by both languages using Cyrillic script, Duisenbinov describes the “language” as sounding unpleasant:

я только слышу как тілечь в соответствии со своим странным звучанием

шлепает хрюкает шмыгает отовсюду55

I only hear that tilech in accordance with its weird sound

Slops squishes sniffs from all over

53 See Appendix 1 for the full text of the poem in Russian.

54 Anuar Duisenbinov, “Tilech,” 2014, lines 17-19. Retrieved from https://vk.com/balkhashdreaming?w=wall-27257869_422.

55 Duisenbinov, “Tilech,” lines 44-45.

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Later the narrator questions his own assumptions and suggests another interpretation of tilech. He presumes that this “language” might be the “pearl of the future’s real tolerance”

(“жемчужина будущей действительной толерантности”),56 because it is an outcome of a mixture of many cultures and worldviews. At the end, however, he concludes: “well, never mind” (“впрочем забудьте”).57 So, despite the possible effect that tilech can have on the society in the future, today it serves as the representation of the nation’s transformation.

The Estranged

Besides the inability of the nation to come back to roots as a result of the drastic changes it went through, Duisenbinov and Nurgazy raise the concerns of marginal groups.

They demonstrate the struggles of ethnic Kazakh individuals from such groups to feel belonging to the nation.

In his narrative poem “Qala aspanyndagy qaraqshy”58 [The Brigand of the City Sky], which alternates between several different voices and opinions, Nurgazy among other issues, raises the question of oralmans59 [returnees]. He writes:

Пенционерлер мен оралмандарды үкімет үй беру тізімінен шығарып тастапты

Жақсы болған, қайтқан құсты көрмегелді қай заман

Қайтқан құс деген не өзі, уақыт па, оқиға ма, теңеу ме?

Баяғы жоқтан бар жасау60

Turns out, the government has excluded pensioners and oralmans from the lists for distribution of apartments

Haven’t seen migratory birds in a while

What is it – a migratory bird – a time, an event, or a comparison?

The same old practice of creating something out of nothing

56 Ibid., line 51.

57 Ibid., line 61.

58 See Appendix 3 for the full text of the poem in Kazakh and Appendix 4 for its interlinear translation in Russian.

59 See the Introduction: Insiders and Outsiders.

60 Ardak Nurgazy, “Qala aspanyndagy qaraqshy,” 2018, lines 76-79.

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The lyrical hero is not pleased that the oralmans have been excluded from the list of people who receives the government’s support.61 The reason is that the primary incentive of ethnic Kazakh people living outside Kazakhstan to return to their historical homes was the

government’s promise to support them. Inviting ethnic Kazakhs from abroad would foster the nation-building processes by helping overcome the minority status of Kazakhs. Because those groups of Kazakhs were not hybridized by the Soviet project, the government also believed that oralmans would reduce the role that the Russian language and culture play in the society.

However, these same characteristics, “a lack of familiarity with Soviet cultural codes, and poor knowledge of the Russian language,” caused “xenophobia toward oralmans among the Kazakh/Kazakhstani population” and thus became the obstacle for their integration into the society.62 That is why the role oralmans play in the society becomes ambiguous.

Nurgazy’s narrator wonders: “What is it – a migratory bird – a time, an event, or a comparison?” He asks: do migratory birds, or oralmans, represent the time for movement which is driven by availability of food and other benefits? Is the process of oralmans’ fleeing and returning a historical event? Or is “migratory bird” simply a comparison that is unable to capture the complexity of the problem of oralmans? The question he asks reflects the search of repatriated Kazakhs for their national identity. They returned to their historical homeland in hopes to reunite with their roots, people, and land, but were equally seen as a source of authentic Kazakhness by the government which they could not deliver. In the end, oralmans

61 Bonnenfant explains: “Kazakh diaspora members can immigrate to Kazakhstan in two ways: either as part of a quota system for supported immigrants or outside that system with limited benefits (…) Those who are not included in the quota have been ineligible to receive any governmental aid for temporary or permanent housing. For those included in the quota, housing assistance is provided by the government, but this amount is not sufficient to acquire housing in rural areas, let alone in cities.” Isik Kuscu Bonnenfant,, “Constructing the Homeland: Kazakhstans Discourse and Policies Surrounding Its Ethnic Return-Migration Policy,” Central Asian Survey 31, no. 1 (2012), 37, 41, https://doi.org/10.1080/02634937.2012.650004.

62 Marlene Laruelle, “The Three Discursive Paradigms of State Identity in Kazakhstan,” in Nationalism and Identity Construction in Central Asia: Dimensions, Dynamics, and Directions edited by Mariya

Y. Omelicheva (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2015), 6.

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find themselves marginalized, and both them and the local population fail to complete their search for Kazakh identity.

As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, the lyrical hero of Duisenbinov’s “Kerei,”

also finds himself in disharmony with the rest of the society. He envisions himself as a

“phoenix of shame”: he is reborn, but he is seen as different and as bringing dishonor to the nation. The idea of shame in relation to the Kazakh nation is discussed in more detail in the poem “Mangilik zhel”63 [The Eternal Wind]. Duisenbinov writes:

пару месяцев назад меня назвали позором великого казахского народа

просто так на улице завидев мои волосы (к слову сказать шикарные)

и еще я возможно ломался манерничал и был счастлив

разговаривал с кем-то по телефону произносил андрей я тоже тебя люблю64

a couple of months ago I was called the Disgrace of the Great Qazaq Nation

just because I was seen out on the street with my hair /fabulous, by the way/

also perhaps I was pretentious, obnoxious and happy

on the phone with someone saying andrey I love you too65

The lyrical hero is a man with long hair, and a member of the LGBTQ+ community. In the original version, the behavior of the lyrical hero is depicted with such verbs as lomalsya, manernichal, that are usually used to describe women. This image goes against the traditional image of a man in the patriarchal Kazakh society. In addition to that, the man that the lyrical hero talks to has a Russian name, Andrey. This intensifies the conflict of the poem, making it not only a question of love between two men deemed unacceptable by the society, but also between formerly oppressed and oppressor nations. That is why, the lyrical hero of “Kerei”

and “Mangilik zhel” is called “the Disgrace of the Great Kazakh Nation” and is reborn as a

“phoenix of shame.”

63 See Appendix 1 for the full text of the poem in Russian and Appendix 2 for its English translation.

64 Anuar Duisenbinov, “Mangilik zhel,” lines 1-5.

65 Anuar Duisenbinov, “Mangilik zhel,” unpublished manuscript, translated by Mariya Deykute, lines 1-5, 2019.

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The lyrical hero expresses a wish to truly be the “Disgrace” but of a free nation, where marginalizing people would not be acceptable. He says:

как хотел бы я ощущать ничтожность свою и стыд

(…)

чтобы жил я позорной частичкой великого свободного общества

где не то чтоб произнести эту фразу подумать бы не смогли66

oh how I would want to be the Disgrace of the Great Qazaq Nation

(…)

so I could live as a deplorable particle of this Great Free Nation

in which it would be impossible not just to say this phrase

but to think it67

So, the very fact that he is called the “Disgrace” of the nation points at the prejudices and constraints that the society holds on to. The lyrical hero later refers to the nation as

“tormented,” “confused,” and “crippled”68 as opposed to the free society it could have become, “in which it would be impossible” to discriminate anyone. The regeneration of the nation in the time of its independence should have entailed renewal and healing of the injured parts. But the poet shows that even if the rebirth of the nation did take place, the renewal seems to have not.

Conclusion

The poetry of Ardak Nurgazy and Anuar Duisenbinov demonstrates the struggles of the lyrical heroes to find their identity and feel belonging to the nation in the 21st century.

They reveal that whether lyrical heroes are eager to reestablish their relationship with the nation’s past or not, they still find themselves unable to maintain strong connection with their ancestors. The nation turned into a bilingual and culturally hybrid society, which is why the difference between them and the nomadic nation seems unsurmountable. The issue is further exacerbated when one considers marginal groups. Ethnic Kazakhs belonging to such groups

66 Duisenbinov, “Mangilik zhel,” lines 15, 17-19.

67 Duisenbinov, “Mangilik zhel,” translated by Mariya Deykute, lines 15, 17-19.

68 Duisenbinov, “Mangilik zhel,” lines 61-62.

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struggle to find their place in the society with an ambiguous identity. The poets show that the nation has transformed enough to have weakened its connection with its history, but still has not adopted to the modern reality. This leaves all members of the nation feeling disoriented.

Poetry, therefore, becomes one of the few safe places, where the past and the present of the Kazakh nation can coexist in the harmony of words and rhythms, and where the lost

“orphans” of the steppe can unite.

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Appendices

Appendix 1

Poems by Anuar Duisenbinov analyzed in this Capstone Project:

1. В Астане

Помнится в Астане дышалось, помнится пилось да пелось Ветер астанинский это почти что ветер сатанинский

Уносил алюкобонд и чувства, пыль и память, и дорожный ремонт Уносил, подражая времени, этому назойливому официанту

Уносил, обнажая время, обременяя нас непрошеной наготой Прекрасной, дикой, пустой, бессмысленной, астанинской наготой В Астане происходило важное, юное, романтическое, отважное В Астане краснели и леденели, в Астане оттаивали, бледнели

В Астане рассчитывали, богатели, в Астане просчитывались, беднели В Астане, это все происходило в Астане как будто бы целую жизнь назад Будто все, что происходило там без меня это хренов какой-то ад

Будто степь разом зазеленела и апашки выращивают виноград Повдоль ханских шатров стоят винодельни под солнечными лучами И под самым солнечным из лучей бежит подле них золотой ручей

И купается в нем ребенок, плескается, брызжет золотом, спросишь “чей?”

А он только молчит и кивает в сторону горизонта Да ветер шепнет “ничей”

И ты спрашиваешь, какого такого понта?

Ты чего потерял здесь? Иди отыщи деда своего Коркыта Он все там же бродит, на бульваре, у разъебанного корыта Над хромым Тимуром ржет, что память о нем забыта

Никакого железа не помнят, а только смутное что-то про ноги

Здесь нет места больше для пери и Тенгри, не приходят степные боги Испивать из облачных чаш своих свет и песни

Девы дерзкие и красивые с камчой не гоняются за джигитом

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Здесь все диджит теперь, и бит, и айти, и уят, и битум

Только битум в вязких наших сердцах отчего-то все держит ритм И за мной не придет никогда смерть моя настоящая

Так и буду сидеть в этом ебаном барреле до конца его дней Пока конь конца дней его не проскачет на том берегу реки Где что право, что лево уже неважно, а важное — вопреки

Его воле, ибо это лишь я ее наебал, а тебе мой лучистый мальчик Ягненок мой золотой, бегать скоро в барханах ватных

В нефть наступать копытцем, каллиграфить черным чертоги небесные Или там просто бесные, уж не знаю

Я тут посижу еще немного в этом барреле да растаю В нежной раковине ушной какого-нибудь сновидца

2. Керей

Следов твоих давно не видно ни в песке, ни в иле Ковыль давно расправился, сгорел

И вырос снова, и примялся сразу сотнями коней на четырех колесах А потом сгорел. А я успел расправиться и стать глубоким вдохом И сгореть. И фениксом стыда восстать

И гордо воссиять огнем заката мудрости, скажи В какую сторону из тех, что выбрал свет

Куда идёшь ты, что ты ищешь

Каких имен каким вещам, какой зари Куда идёшь ты, спутник Сырдарьи Арал грядущего ли не даёт покоя

Возвратный ли предел перед твоею мыслью

Когда-то нашим был лишь көкжиек, теперь же — кошелек А я наивный лёгкий мальчик-көбелек

Ещё могу лететь зачем-то И почему-то петь

Я догоню тебя, и я задам вопросы Мне конь не нужен, буду всадник ветра

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Смотри, как хаос копошится подо мной Во мне, вокруг меня и надо мной Орда ослепла

Куда, куда ты держишь путь, я догоню Я ливневым дождем вскормлю твою щетину Впитаюсь в траву для твоей скотины

Стану лучшим сном твоему коню

Я догоню тебя, пусть путь тернист и долог Под твой я снегом лягу серый войлок Я догоню тебя, я покажу тебе свою броню Которая меня уберегла для этой встречи Я посмотрю в твои усталые глаза

И сам себе отвечу

3. Метаморф

Очень странно переживать за казахский по-русски, ностальгировать по кумысу после ламбруско, поглядывать на тощих в узком

кругу предпочтений. "Дүкен" ставить слева от названия, вместо "дукені" и справа. От

Прометея задуло, не дав достигнуть каспийских вод,

рассветным, розовым размахом крыл фламинго.

Простите мне сомнительное билингва, но сөз порой вырывается из-за лимба,

и тут же прячется назад за недостатком образования. На нёбе сидит осадком.

Пробуя кончиком языка, о сладком

вспоминаешь детстве: густую и мягкую шерсть

Ақпарат көздері

СӘЙКЕС КЕЛЕТІН ҚҰЖАТТАР

О вас с благодарностью вспомнят ребята, Когда призовут их в положенный час, Когда на учениях вдруг подтвердятся Слова, что сто раз военрук повторял: «Вам навыки в службе всегда