Usmon Nosir ranks among the most outstanding Uzbek poets of the 20th century. He was also a very prominent playwright and interpreter, who is credited with bringing a new level of artistry to contemporary Uzbek literature.
Born in 1912 in Namangan, a town in eastern Uzbekistan, Nosir spent his childhood and formative years in an orphanage in Kokand. His first poems were published by a number of local newspapers while Nosir was still a school pupil. When he was a student at the Alisher Navoi pedagogical academy in Samarkand, Nosir published his first collection of poetry entitled, “Conversation with the Sun”. Nosir was also the first to translate Alexander Pushkin’s “The Fountain of Bakhchisaray” and Mikhail Lermontov’s “The Demon” into the Uzbek language.
The poet was only 25 years of age when he was arrested during Joseph Stalin’s great purges of the 1930s, which claimed many innocent lives. He was sentenced to a long prison term on charges of treason and being “an enemy of the people” and sent to a labour camp, where he tragically died in 1944.
Despite his short life, Usmon Nosir’s incredibly beautiful and majestic lyrics had a major impact on the development of Uzbek literature, and he is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential figures in Uzbekistan’s literary history.