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  • I Cry, and: I Will Begin from Your Name
  • Ghojimuhemmed Muhemmed (bio)
    Translated by Joshua L. Freeman (bio)

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[End Page 30]

I Cry

Khotan, 2003

When I wander Khotan, for Kashgar I cryAqsu shed tears, for a thousand men I cry

When I go to Ili in search of peaceFor a pigeon with bound wings I cry

I arrive in Atush and stones split apartOn a life-sharpened sword I cry

A tomb in Turpan and I was a mournerFor the hangman who slew the poet I cry

Fifteen times I went round the homelandFifteen drops of blood, on Judgment Day I cry [End Page 31]

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[End Page 32]

I Will Begin from Your Name

Kériye, October 9, 2017

I will begin love from myselfI will begin myself from youand youI will begin from your name

With my embrace, you will turn into the seaWith my kiss, you will turn into a pearl

I will toss the pearl into the seaandI will begin the search from youand youI will begin from your name [End Page 33]

Ghojimuhemmed Muhemmed

ghojimuhemmed muhemmed (1971–2018) was born in Qoshtagh, in China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. With thousands of poems to his name, he was known for his originality and range of work. Publication of his collected poems in ten volumes began in 2016 by Nationalities Press in Beijing but was halted in 2017. One of the most impressive bodies of work in modern Uyghur literature, his poetry has appeared in English translation in Words Without Borders, Harvard Review Online, and FWJ Plus.

Joshua L. Freeman

joshua l. freeman is a historian and translator, and is currently a Cotsen Postdoctoral Fellow at the Princeton Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts. He received his PhD at Harvard University, where he focused on Uyghur cultural history in twentieth-century China. His translations of contemporary Uyghur poetry have appeared in Crazyhorse, Gulf Coast, and Hayden's Ferry Review.



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