The magazine is registered by the Federal Service for Supervision of Compliance with Legislation Governing Mass Communications and Protection of Cultural Heritage, certificate of registration ÏÈ ¹ ÔÑ77-21265 of 08.06.2005  
2024  N1-2(227-228)
Russian writer Ivan GOLUBNICHY is an old and trusted friend of Turkmenistan. In his homeplace, Moscow, he is known as a brilliant publicist, philologist, literary critic and author of many works in poetry and prose. His organizational talent allows him to successfully combine the activities of a member of the board of the Union of Writers of Russia, a member of the board of the Moscow City Writers’ Organization with management of “Velikoross” literary and historical magazine, “Moskovsky Vestnik” magazine and “Moskovsky Literator” newspaper.
Ivan Golubnichy proved no less vividly his literary talent in the field of poetic translation. It is in this capacity that he is well known to the Turkmen literary community. He is the author of many translations of Magtymguly Fraghi’s poems into Russian. He also translated the works by Mollanepes and Andalib. Thanks to his poetic talent, the Russian-speaking reader for the first time had the opportunity to read in full the text of the famous literary masterpiece “Sermon” by Dovletmammed Azadi. Ten years ago, during the celebration of the 290th anniversary of the birth of Magtymguly Fraghi, Ivan Golubnichy was awarded the Magtymguly Fraghi medal.
In the year of the 300th anniversary of the genius of Turkmen literature, the editors of the international magazine “Turkmenistan” turned to the famous Russian writer with a request to share his thoughts on the significance of Magtymguly’s works.

In 2024, Turkmenistan and the entire international literary community celebrate the 300th anniversary of birth of Magtymguly Fraghi, the greatest national poet and philosopher of the Turkmen people. This significant event is also of great importance for Russia. Our country is connected with Turkmenistan by long-standing interstate and spiritual relations, as well as sincere friendship because of the history of long and fruitful existence as part of one state. The people of Russia follow with great interest the vibrant and original culture of Turkmenistan, the most important component of which is literature.
Magtymguly Fraghi’s works represent the heyday of Turkmen poetry, and it continues to effective influence the formation and strengthening of the national identity of the Turkmen people. The poetry by Magtymguly Fraghi brings about a sense of patriotism, commitment to traditional values, a humanistic worldview and a desire for enlightenment in the younger generations of Turkmens. The personality of the great poet and philosopher is also an example of a decent life in the context of complex political circumstances of his time.
Supported by good upbringing from his father, outstanding poet and religious thinker Dovletmammed Azadi, Magtymguly Fraghi endured with dignity all the hardships and dangers that fate sent him throughout his life. At the same time, he was noted for a great desire for learning new and unknown things, for travelling and receiving vivid impressions. Magtymguly was acutely aware of disunity of the Turkmen tribes, characteristic of his era, and this pain left an imprint on his works: “Wishing to calm my heart, I head in different directions. / But everywhere, there is enmity – my soul is darkened more than ever.”
Being a true patriot of his Fatherland, the poet took to his heart all the hardships and suffering of his people. That is why his poems found their way directly to the hearts of all Turkmens, regardless of their tribal affiliation. The idea of urgency and inevitability of national unity has come a long way to the collective consciousness of the Turkmen people, and the poetry by great Magtymguly Fraghi was undoubtedly one of the determining factors for the successful completion of this process.
Magtymguly Fraghi’s significance for the Turkmen literature is comparable to the significance of our greatest genius, Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin, for the Russian literature. Just like Pushkin, Magtymguly made a revolution in the literary language of his native people. In Turkmen literature, even before Magtymguly, there were talented poets who left a good legacy to their descendants, but the literary language of the old times was archaic and marked by foreign influence, which made it difficult for ordinary people to understand. In his verses, Magtymguly began to speak with his contemporaries in a clear and living language that corresponded to the realities of his time. It was primarily for this reason that his poems became popular among folk singers and musicians, who passed on these precious masterpieces from generation to generation.
Speaking about the works by Magtymguly Fraghi, one cannot but note the inextricable connection of his poems with folklore. This most important quality became one of the determining factors that made the talented poet a figure of national significance. It is this organic connection with people, their wishes and aspirations, that makes it possible to fill the forms of literary talent with living humanistic content and make a poet truly great. The aphoristic character of many Magtymguly’s poems, the accuracy of his definitions, fresh artistic imagery – these and other merits contributed to the great popularity of his works among the people.
Magtymguly glorified the best human qualities - valour, honesty, desire for moral improvement – and ridiculed vices – laziness, bragging, idle talk, etc. In his poems, the poet called for unity, joint resistance to external dangers and threats in the name of peace and prosperity. The notion of national identity, strongly rooted in Magtymguly’s soul and embodied in his verses, had a great emotional impact on his contemporaries, as they called for unity and harmony. The poet did not imagine himself detached from the interests of the Turkmen people, and the people paid him with love and recognition. At present, Magtymguly Fraghi‘s literary heritage is the fundamental element of national identity of the Turkmen people.
Throughout the Soviet period, the works by Magtymguly Fraghi attracted attention of scientists and literary critics, translators and poetry connoisseurs. A galaxy of the best Russian poets and translators devoted a huge amount of work to the noble task of making Magtymguly’s poems sound in Russian, while preserving their meaning and spirit. These literary figures deserve to be listed here in connection with the anniversary of Magtymguly. They are Arseny Tarkovsky, Mark Tarlovsky, Georgy Shengeli, Yuri Gordienko, Tatyana Spendiarova, Nikolai Lebedev, Yulia Neiman, Anisim Krongauz, Anatoly Starostin, Yuri Valich, Tatyana Streshneva.
This work continued in modern times. In 2014, in Ashgabat, “Ylym” publishing house released a collection of selected poems by Magtymguly Fraghi in Russian on the occasion of the 290th anniversary of the poet’s birth. A significant part of the poetic translations was made by the author of these lines specifically for this collection. It is recommended that new translations of Magtymguly Fraghi’s poems should be made in close cooperation between literary translators and Turkmen scholars. Such cooperation would create conditions for a more accurate conveyance of the meaning of poems and spiritual atmosphere of the Turkmen society of the Magtymguly era. Today, in the context of globalization, the need to preserve and strengthen national identity is of particular relevance to the peoples of the world. The poetry by Magtymguly Fraghi confirms its continuing relevance. The high humanistic pathos, patriotic orientation and poetic power of his poetry present a powerful means of strengthening peace and friendship between the peoples of Turkmenistan and Russia.
The author of these lines happened to visit Turkmenistan several times as a participant in scientific conferences dedicated to the works by the great Turkmen poets and thinkers - Mollanepes, Andalib, Azadi and Magtymguly. I would like to note the high level of scientific thought presented during these events, as well as broad international representation. The conferences proved that the Turkmen classical poetry enjoys permanent interest from the world scientific community, and the materials of these conferences represent a visible contribution to the study of the poetic heritage of Turkmen classics. The 300th anniversary of Magtymguly Fraghi will undoubtedly become an important milestone in this process and will bring new scientific and literary results.
I can’t help but share my vivid impressions from my visits to Turkmenistan. It was pleasant and joyful to see beautiful Ashgabat - majestic modern new buildings, white buildings soaring into the sky, bearing in their appearance the national flavor of Turkmenistan, cool fountains, beautiful sculptures, friendly, sociable and open people. When visiting museums and exhibitions, I was pleasantly surprised by the caring attitude of the Turkmen people towards their historical and cultural heritage. I was lucky enough to walk along the “Pathway of Health”, visit ancient Merv, to some extent become familiar with the geographical features of Turkmenistan and speak to Turkmen writers. This is an invaluable experience and an unforgettable memory.
The author of these lines was honoured to take part in the poetic translation into Russian of the poems by Mollanepes, Andalib, and translating into Russian for the first time the famous “Sermon” by Dovletmammed Azadi. Being part of cultural cooperation with Turkmenistan fills my heart with pride and desire to implement new joint projects. In today’s turbulent world, every step towards each other, every gesture of goodwill is invaluable. The poetry by Magtymguly Fraghi is a powerful broker of friendship and harmony.


©Turkmenistan Analytic magazine, 2005