Khamza Khakimzade Niyazi

A Song of Emancipated Women

Published: A New Life Begun: Prose Poetry and Essays of the 1920s-1930s, Progress Publishers, 1987.
Transcribed: for in January, 2002.

[Note: Khamza Khakimzade Niyazi (1889-1929) was the founder of Uzbek Soviet literature. A poet and playwright, Niayzi wrote a collection of poems after the Revolution, which were imbued with the pathos of the revolutionary struggle (The Fragrant Rose, 1919), and a number of plays, including The Bai and the Hired Hand (1918), Maisara's Tricks (1926) and The Secrets of the Veil (1927). In his work the author described the awakening class consciousness of Uzbek working people.

Khamza also dealt with the liberation of women in the East and called for their active participation in all spheres of the life of society: "The Song of Free Women", "Today Is March 8", "On the Death of Tursunai" and others.]

Make haste, dear sisters, and rejoice,
Take part in glee that all the women voice.

Come, fling the hideous veil into the flames
To make this world a warmer, brighter place,

To celebrate the State that set us free at last
So let us join our hands and freely sing and dance.

We feel, as if we were the lightest birds on wings.
The nightingale is back. It is for us he sings.

The merry piper, too, has brought his magic flute
To feast and play for us and sing our freedom's youth.

We are but flowers shy behind a garden wall.
Oh, how our beauty shines when it is seen by all!

Along the happy road we march in joyous throngs,
Freed by the State and free of all the former wrongs.

We, chattel, mute and dumb, the harrassed, the oppressed,
Are now peers to men,we are with freedom blessed.

And our time has come. Our captors cast away,
They will no longer mar the brightness of our day.

And let no husband try to bar the iron door:
Today we're free to leave. The chains exist no more.

To spite all jealous men, of whom a lot remain,
Our proud beauty glows--it's time they thought again.

If ever we be soiled by some immodest glance,
We shall avenge ourselves, for we are free at last.

Our freedom is our spring and we its flowers bright.
So hasten,join the ring, take part in our delight.

We wish to give the world a blossoming of arts
And knowledge is our goal-there are no better paths.

It's our aim to grasp the wisdom born of science
To make our bliss expand and last forever thence.

Lift up your eyes: you are a human being--
The waking dawn's ablaze with your triumphant feeling.