Verses of the Kazakh Poet Abai Ibrahim Kunanbayev
Kazakhstan had a strong oral tradition in literature until the mid-19th century. Abai (Ibrahim) Kunanbayev (1845–1904) was a Kazakh poet and teacher, and the key figure in developing a new Kazakh national written literature. His father, Kunanbai Uskenbayev, was a landowner, and the family was prominent in eastern Kazakhstan. Abai studied at the madrassa led by Mullah Akhmet Riza in Semipalatinsk and also attended a Russian school. He spoke Arabic, Persian, and other Eastern languages. Abai Kunanbayev also translated into Kazakh works by major European and Russian poets, such ...