The powerhouse poet Nizami Ganjavi, a life, a legend, Roundtable chats

Editorial | Republic Underground 

March 23, 2021 

The following article has been taken from the transcript of a Russian-language media event. Republic Underground performs full  audits of software-based translations to ensure the greatest accuracy. See the original event below. 

This women’s month Irina Tsukerman sat down with Professor Seher Orucova to talk about Nizami Ganjavi an ancient poet.

“Nizami Ganjavi is one of the key figures of the cultural history of Azerbaijan,” said Tsukerman in the discussion’s opening statements.

“He is little known to the western public so, in principle, the culture of the Caucasus countries, in the States and even many European countries, are not very deeply studied. So, this discussion is very important,” said Tsukerman. 


A brief history of Nizami Ganjavi 

“Please tell us briefly about Nizami Ganjavi was, why he is so important to the Azerbaijani people, and in what context his works developed under, “Tsukerman began the discussion. 

Professor Orucova noted that the story of Ganjavi was “a very big topic”. She explained that Ganjavi was an important poet to the Azerbaijani people and that 2021 marks the 880th anniversary of Ganjavi’s birth, which is noteworthy in celebration of the life of the great poet and thinker of Azerbaijan. 

“I would like to tell you a little about him,” she began her remarks. 

She then explained that, due to her background in researching folklore, she would be able to give a deeper context on the influence Ganjavi had over folklore. 

“Because, given the fact that I myself am engaged in folklore studies, and I am closer to this topic, I would like to tell you about how folklore motives have manifested themselves in his numerous works.” 

She then began with a bit of background regarding Ganjavi’s nativity.

“Nizami’s homeland is Ganja, he was born in the city of Ganja, Azerbaijan,” said the Professor. 

“Because he was born in a rather noble family, he was a very educated person, he knew algebra well, higher mathematics, the history of poetics of versification, he knew several languages ​​as well as his native Azerbaijani.” 

She also mentioned that he had comprehension of the works of many doctors, of ethnography, and more. She highlighted the fact that Ganjavi was an intellectual of many study disciplines. 

She highlighted his power as a philosopher and the influences that his critical thinking has had upon foreign research. 

“In each of his works of poetry, we can find many answers to life’s questions. It is thanks to the versatility of Nizami’s talent that his work has always attracted the attention of many European researchers.” 

She stated that while Europe has many great poets in its history, the emotional power of Ganjavi’s work has attracted the attention of European poetry scholars. 

She then noted that Ganjavi’s work has drawn a direct connection between the classic literary history of Azerbaijan and Azerbaijani folklore. 


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