Trace (Iz) 

      Poet: Abdurehim Otkur 
    Translated by T. Abdurazak, S. Saydahmat
We were young when we started our journey,
Now our grand-children are able to ride on horses.

We were very few when started our journey,
Now we're advancing and left traces on the desert.

Our traces are in the deserts and in the valleys,
There are many heroes buried in the desert with no grave.

Don't say they were left without graves,
Their graves covered with flowers in the Spring.

Left the crowd, left the scene, they are all faraway,
Wind blows, sand moves, yet our trace never disappears.

The caravan never stops even our horses become thin,
Our grand-children or great-grand-children will one day find
 those traces.

Yax iduq muxkul seperge atlinip mangghanda biz,
Emdi atqa mingidek bolup qaldi ene nevrimiz.

Az iduq muxkul seperge atlinip chiqanda biz,
Emdi chong karvan atalduq, qaldurup chollerde iz.

Qaldi iz choller ara, gayi davanlarda yene,
Qaldi ni-ni arslanlar dexit cholde qevrisiz.

Qevrisiz qaldi dimeng yulghun qizarghan dalida,
Gul-chichekke pukinur tangna baharda qevrimiz.

Qaldi iz, qaldi menzil, qaldi yiraqta hemmisi,
chiqsa boran, kochse qumlar, hem komulmes izimiz.

Tohtimas karvan yolida gerche atlar bek oruq,
Tapqus hichbolmisa, bu izni bizning nevrimiz, ya chevrimiz.



                 (1923 - October 5, 1995)

Abdurehim Otkur is one of the most prominent Uighur cultural figures of this century, He was born in 1923 in Qumul, Eastern Turkistan. He graduated from the Xinjiang University in 1942. He worked as an editor of the "Altay Geziti" newspaper until 1949.

From 1949 to 1980 Mr Otkur was allowed by Chinese authorities to work only as an interpreter in different governmental offices.  From 1980 to his death, he worked as a scholar in the Institute of Literature Studies of the Academy of Philosophy and Social Sciences of the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. In 1988 was appointed as a Vice Chairman of the Society of "Khutadghu Bilik" Studies. 

Abdurehim Otkur was fluent in Uighur, Chinese, Russian, English and several other Turkic languages. He first published his poems in 1940. The poems "Tarim Boyliri" (Along Tarim river) and "Yurek Mungliri" (Melodies of the heart) received very good responses from the public. The last novels of the author "Iz" (The Track) and "Oyghanghan Zimin" (The Awaked Land) became the most popular novels among Uighur people.     

Mr. Otkur was several times imprisoned by Chinese authorities for so-called nationalistic activity, by some sources, 
from 1951 to 1958, and then from 1966 to 1976.