During the second half of the 14th century cultural life of Central Asia focused around Herat and Samarqand. One of the famous poets of that period was the author of "Messages of Love"(Mukhabbatnameh) that was written under a pen name of Khorezmi. The composition consists of eleven letters, eight of which were written in old Uzbek language and three others in Farci. The poem glorifies a pure love, joy of life, feelings and emotions of people. Khorezmi contributed to the development of secular literature and introduced a new genre into the poetry , "nomeh" (message).
Alisher Navoi (1441 - 1501)
The work of the prominent poet and thinker of medieval period Alisher Navoi marked an entire epoch in Uzbek literature and became a pinnacle of artistic thought of his time. The poet, literary critic, historian and linguist, naturalist and musician, the statesman, Alisher Navoi was striving to make his works provide a reflection of life in its full variety. His literal legacy is extensive and consists of thirty collections of verses, large poems, prose and scientific works. His lyrics ("gazels") were in united ion "Treasury of Thoughts". Among his best poetic works are "Khamsa" ("five poems") that includes "Confusion of Righteous", "Laily and Majnun", "Farkhad and Shirin", "Seven Planets", and "Iskander"s Rampart". Navoi was the author of the allegoric poem "Language of Birds". As a lyrical poet, Navoi was a follower of Persian classical writers; he was able to show deep poetical potential of classical literary form of gazelle. The love theme is one of the leading in his works. To love is to accept reality with an open heart, love everything beautiful and enjoy it.
The genealogy of the poet and historian Mukhammad Salikh ascends to the Turkish dynasty of Bilkuts. His grandfather Amir Shakhmalik was close to Amir Temur and Mirzo Ulughbek. His father was at the service of Ulughbek and Mirzo Abdusaid and was a ruler of Khorezm. In Herat he received his education, achieved maturity and joined the service of sultan Khussain Baikara, then of Sheikh Mukhammad-Tarkhan in Samarqand and later served Shaibanikhan. In his book "Shaibani-nameh" he described the historic events of 1485-1506. His style might not be artistic, however "Shaibani-nameh" had found a special place in the history of Uzbek literature. Later the art of chronicles written in the form of poem became quite common.
Babarakhim Mashrab (1640-1711)
Babarakhim Mashrab is an outstanding poet who castigated cruel landowners and religious fanatics. He was an author of ardent gazels. Babarakhim Mashrab was born in Namangan to a family of bozchi (cotton weaver). He lost his father early. He was a disciple of Mulla Bazar-Akhun. Bright and smart, the young poet studyie Islam, the works of Lutfi and Navoi. In 1665 he moved to Kashgar for the service of Sheikh Afaqkhoja however soon he returned to his native land. After the death of his mother he became a pilgrim. By the slander of religious fanatics in 1711 he was sentenced to death by the ruler of Kunduz. Mashrab was a real folk poet and friend of poor people: " I have seen people with tormented souls, I have seen people oppressed." The poems of Mashrab became very famous in Central Asia and far beyond its borders.
Munis was a well-known poet, historian and interpreter. His real name was Shermukhammad Avazbii. He was born in Khorezm, in the village of Kyat. He studied in Khiva madrasa and later was a secretary to the Khan of Khiva. Munis was a well-educated person and had deep knowledge of literature and history. Munis wrote an extraordinary book "The Garden of Paradise" that described the history of Khorezm from ancient times through 1812 Munis was also famous for his wonderful poems and translations. He translated to Uzbek the first volume of eminent historical work "The Garden of Pureness in relation to Life of Prophets, Kings and Khalifs".
Nadira was a great Uzbek poetess. Her real name was Makhlar-Aim. She was born in Samarqand to an educated family. She was a favourite wife and assistant of Kokand Khan Omar. After the conquest of Kokand she was killed by the order of Bukhara Amir Nasrulla. The poems of Nadira have been kept in two sets of manuscript divans. Her works reflect the motives of faithfulness and devotion, belief in good and justice. Her spiritual affluence was revealed in her ability to love loyally and unconditionally. That is what she saw as the meaning of life and human happiness. Her poems written in Uzbek and Persian became classics of Uzbek literature.
Mukimi was a distinguished lyrical and satirical poet. His real name was Mukhammad Amin-Khoja Mirzakhoja-ogly. He was born in Kokand to the family of baker. He got his elementary education in Maktab and later continued his studies in Mekhtar-Aim Madrasa. His poetical legacy is grandiose and includes charming verses, satirical dedications and mukhammas. Allegiance and patriotism of his poems, clear and simple forms made him a popular poet.
Feruz was one of the greatest Uzbek poets. His real name was Mukhammad Rakhimkhan. The son of a Khan from Khiva, he received a home education with a scholars invited to the palace. Thanks to his mentor Agakhi he mastered a deep knowledge of fikh, history and literature. From 1863 through 1910 he was the ruler of the Khiva Khanate. He supported scientists and poets. He initiated a translation of works of prominent Persian and Arabic scientists and scholars. A typography in Khiva was built due to his efforts. The poems of Feruz included in his books "Gazels of Feruz", "Beits of Feruz" and "Collection of Poems of Feruz".
Ogahi is the pen name of Mukhammadrizo Erniyezbek Ugli (1809-1874), Uzbek poet, historian, and interpreter. He studied in Madrasa and mastered Arabic, Persian, and Turkish languages. He was greatly influenced by progressive litterateurs, associates of his uncle, poet Munis Khorazmi. His poetical works were united in a collection of poems (divan) "Ta"viz ul-Oshikin" ("The Amulet of Lovers"). His collection features mostly mukhammas, poems consisting of 5 semi-verses. Ogakhi dedicated his mukhammas to Alisher Navoi, Fuzuli, Sa"di, Bedil, Munis etc. He is known in the history of Uzbek literature as a developer of a lyrical genre. He left numerous historic works: "Riyoz ud-Davla" (1844), "Zubdat ut-Tavorikh" (1846), "Jome" ul-Vakeati Sultonii"(1857), "Gulshani Davlat" (1865), "Ikboli Feruzi" (1872).
Berdakh is a pen name of Berdimurod Kargabai Ugli (1827-1900). He was a poet, a founder of Karakalpak literature. He received elementary education at school and continued his studies in a Madrasa. He knew very well history and oral folklore. His works reflected the life of Karakalpak people in the 19th century. His book "Avlodlar" ("Descendants") was dedicated to historic events. His creative work was complex. He dreamt about happiness for people and a just ruler.
Khakimzoda Niyozii (1899-1929),was a folklore poet of Uzbekistan (1926), public figure. He got his education at a madrasa (189901906) and a Russian-Uzbek school (1908). He wrote textbooks and educational literature. After the October Revolution he taught in Kokand and later in Fergana, had established a regional mobile Muslim theatre, performed as director and actor. He was an author of numerous works like "Devon" - a collection of verse (1905-1914) in Uzbek and Tadjik languages, poem "Ramazan" (1914), "Yangi Saodat" ("New Saodat") , a story (1915), "Zaharli Hayot Yohud Ishk Kurbonlari" ("The Poisoned Life or Victims of Love") (1916), "The Master and Servant" (1918), "The Pranks of Maisara" (1926), "The Secrets of Veil" (1927) and a dozen of songs.
Abdulla Kadyri (1894-1939)
Abdulla Kadyri (Julkunbai) was a famous Uzbek writer, journalist and a talented interpreter. He was born in Tashkent in April 1894 to the family of a peasant-gardener. He studied in an old-style elementary school, and in 1910 he entered the Russian-Uzbek school that was opened in Tashkent for local citizens. In his early years he had to work hard to earn money and was working as a clerk for a merchant. In 1915-1917 he studied Arabic and Persian languages in the madrasa. His first book "Unhappy Groom" was published in 1915, and in 1916, his other story "Debauchee". In 1920 he graduated from the Moscow Institute of Literature. In 1925-1926 he had worked as a literary critic in a "Mushtum" magazine. Kadyri made a big impact on the development of a genre of realistic novel and a genre of satire. He became famous after his novel "Days that are gone" (published in 1922), "A Scorpion from Altar" (1929) and a novel "Abid-ketmen". He was sentenced to death in 1938.
A famous poet, writer and interpreter, he was born in Andijan to a family of small merchants. His real name was Abdulhamid Sulaimankul-ogly. He received his education in a school and the madrasa and later graduated from a Russian - Uzbek school. He mastered Arabic, Persian, Russian and Turkish languages. His novel "Night and Day" and a play "Yorkinoi" were a big success. He made translation of works of Russian writers and Shakespeare"s "Hamlet" to Uzbek. In 1938 he was subjected to repression.
Gafur Gulyam (1903-1966)
Gafur Gulyam was born in 1903 to a poor family. His father was a big fan of poetry. His house was visited by poets Mukimi, Furkat, Asiri. In his young age he lost his parents. In 1916 Gafur Gulyam entered a Russian-Uzbek school, that he had to drop out of after the death of his parents. From 1919 he worked as a typesetter in a typography, and later joined a pedagogical courses. Since 1919 he worked as a teacher of elementary school. In 1923 he publishes his first verse. In the20"s he started his journalistic and literal work. His novel "A Bundle of Mischief", collection of poems "I"m coming from East", a book "The Result" have made him famous and opened the hearts of million people. One of his most famous poems "You Are Not an Orphan" became a refrain during the years of the World War II in 1941-1945 when thousands of Uzbek people were adopting orphans of war. During his lifetime more than 30,000 of his books were published in Uzbek and about 20,000 in Russian.
Aibek (Musa Tashmukhamedov) was born in Tashkent in 1904. He studied in an old style school, since 1918 - in an elementary school "Namuna" and later in pedagogical college. In 1923 he published his first poem. In 1925 he worked as a teacher for some time. In 1925-1927 he studied in Leningrad. The first collection of his poems "Feeling" was published in 1926, the second one - "The Flute of the Heart" in 1929, the third one, "The Torch", in 1932. In 1930 he graduated from the department of Economy of Central Asian State University, served there as a faculty member, carried out a research work combining it with a work of interpreter and editor. He translated to Uzbek the poem of Pushkin "Evgeny Onegin". His poem and novel about Alisher Navoi were accepted with a great success. There were separate publications of his poems "Dilbar - the daughter of Epoch"(1932), "Bakhtygyk and Sagandyk" (1934), "Girls" (1947), "Khamza", "Jura, the Blacksmith", "Navoi", "Zafar and Zakhra" (1952), "My grandfather" (1957), "Guli and Navoi"(1968).
Khamid Alimjan (1909-1944)
Khamid Alimjan was born in 1904. At the age of 4 he lost his father. In 1918 he started his education: first in Jizzakh in a secondary school, later in Samarqand at school and in university. In 1935 he married a young poetess, Zulfia. After graduation he moved to Tashkent and worked for a newspaper for young people "Yosh Leninchi" and later for a "Kurilish" magazine. From 1939 through the end of his life he was an executive secretary of the Union of Writers of Uzbekistan. He died in an accident in 1944. The first collection of his verses "Spring" was published in 1929. In 1931 his other book "Flaming Hair", 1932 - "Competition" and "Death to the Enemy". Later he published his books in the Uzbek language in Tashkent: his poems "An Evening on the river"(1936), "Motherland" (1939), "Aigul and Bakhtiyar", "Happiness" (1940), "Semurg or Parizad and Buniad", "Zainab and Aman"(1941), "Mother and Son", "Take the weapon in your arms" (1942), "Belief" and "Mukanna"(1943).