Mirza Shafi Vaseh
-(pseudonym of Shafi Sadig oglu) (1794 Ganja-28.11.1852
Tbilisi) - Azery poet, pholosopher, educator. He was born in an architect's
family. Vaseh was expelled from madrasa because of negative attitude to
For some priod of time he worked as a calligrapher in Ganja, he taught
M.F. Akhundov writing and agitated him against his desire of being a clergyman.
In 1840 he moved to Tiflis and taught Azery and Persian languages in a
Vaseh continued managing the literal-philosophical
medjlis "Divani-Hikmet", which he had found in Ganja. In this medjlis
different point of wiews had been expressed on such topics as poetry,
philosophy, ethics. A.A.Bakikhanov, M.F.Akhundov, F.Badenshtedt and others
took part in this medjlis. In 1848 he returned back to Ganja and teached
in a district school. In 1850 he moved again to Tiflis and teached Azery
and Persian languages in a gymnasium.
Vaseh wrote in Azery and Percian. He presented F.Bodenshtedt
a handwriting of a collection of his poems. Having returned to Germany
F.Bodenshted translated this collection into German and together with
other Eastern poet's works published in "1001 ddays in East" (1850), "Songs
of Mirza Vaseh". Later these poems were translated into English, Italian,
Norwegian, Swiss, Dutch, Danish, Poland, Czech, Jewish, Russian and other
languages. When these poems became famous in Europe Bodenshted declared
himself as the author in 1875. The content of most poems, published under
the name of Mirza Shafi Vaseh, had been distorted and suffered addition,
making it difficult to correctly differentiate Vaseh's authorship. A very
small part of his heritage has survived to our days; two poems in Persian
and the poem "Waiting for your letter" were found in 1964. Vaseh mostly
wrote lyric poems. He sang of the world's blessings and beauty, opposed
love to the regious belief. Vaseh also has poems against region, ascetism
and tyrany. The Akhund (main clergyman) of Ganja called Vaseh kafir (apostate),
because of his sharp satirical poems against clergymen.
Vaseh played a significant role as an educator. In 1852 along with I.Grigoryev,
an Eastern languages teacher of the Tiflis gymnasium, he compiled first
textbook in Azery. This textbook, called "Kitabi-turki" had been used
for along period of time as a manual for studying Azery language. A.G.
Rubinstein composed music on Vaseh's poems. Ideal pantheism, combining
sufism and Indian philosophical school charvaka, makes the foundation
of Vaseh's world view. In many cases Vaseh equals the God and the Nature,
and shows that a man can't violate the rules of nature; the only thing
a man can do is to understand the existance and study the mysteries of
the nature. Vaseh opposed against fatalism, criticized the tyrany, ascetism,
fables about Edem and Hell, calling people to value beauties of reality
and fight for happy life and freedom of personality.
He expressed strict protested against the thought:
"a man is subjected to suffering" and every chance available he called
people to resist those who give suffer. Vaseh demanded freedom for women
and respect for their mind. A number of artistic works have been dedicated
to Mirza Shafi Vaseh.