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Akhmet Baitursynuly


Shalkiiz-zhyrau Tilenshiuly was a Kazakh poet and storyteller, batyr and a soldier. Shalkiiz-zhyrau was born in the Western Kazakhstan. Shalkiiz’s father Tilenshy was a large feudal lord and aristocrat of his time. Shalkiiz-zhyrau’s mother was Musa's daughter, a great biy of the Nogai Horde. Having lost mother at the age of 3 months Shalkiiz was brought up by the grandfather from his mother’s side. Being the native of the circle of nomads, aristocrats Shalkiiz from the first days of his life was brought up in the high society. This circumstance affected formation of his personality and his poetry. 

The fact that in his family from the father never had biys strongly jarred on vain ambitious Shalkiiz-zhyrau and consequently he always aspired to find the power over the mighty of this world. Ambitious temper of Shalkiiz-zhyrau found reflection in stories about him and in his creativity. 
About 600 lines of Shalkiiz-zhyrau’s creativity were reached by now. Most likely it is only small part of the creative heritage of the poet but nevertheless it testifies Shalkiiz's uncommon talent, opens the direction, subject and features of his poetry. Shalkiiz-zhyrau was the most glorified poet of his time. Before the revolution 1917 his creation entered into 12 songs collections and anthologies. By that time it was an astronomical figure. Shalkiiz-zhyrau was the first of the Kazakh poets and storytellers translated into Russian. Shalkiiz's creativity was highly appreciated by Russian scientists and researchers of that time. Songs by Shalkiiz-zhyrau devoted to Timur biy were republished four times in different collections and periodicals. 

Shalkiiz’s works are classical models of art of improvisation. But philosophical depth of many works of the poet, demanding long reflections and a continued brainwork, suggests that they were exposed to the subsequent completion and are not a fruit of pure improvisation.
Shalkiiz-zhyrau was an innovator. He is the founder of the philosophical direction of the Kazakh poetry. Works of Shalkiiz-zhyrau are known by the philosophical aphoristic nature. He is the author of many aphoristic expressions which in the subsequent turned into proverbs and sayings. 

Works of Shalkiiz-zhyrau reached us not in all their completeness and consequently it is impossible to speak about any integral, created philosophical concept of the poet. However some fragments from his poetic works allow us to judge his views of society and human life. 

The most part of the life Shalkiiz-zhyrau spent at court of the governor of the Nogai Horde Timur biy. After death of Timur biy Shalkiiz-zhyrau was near Mamay and his younger brother Zhusup, one of influential people of the Nogai Khanate. In the fight between Ismail and Zhusup Shalkiiz-zhyrau remains on the side of the last. But later as a result of Ismail’s provocative policy Zhusup pushes Shalkiiz away and the poet keeps away from the patron. The last years of the life of Shalkiiz-zhyrau spends in the Kazakh state under Haknazar khan. 

A writer and scientist M. Magauin wrote about a role of Shalkiiz-zhyrau in the Kazakh literature: «For the long life he went round all Desht-i-Kipchak, was known as the first akyn of the epoch; a glorified akyn all the life carried out in fight; did not cringe to governors of the time, did not recede from that he considered correct. Works of the storyteller are distinguished by emotionality, thought sharpness, in contents capacity; its depth reached in short, compressed forms, artistry of images unrestrained temperament. From his big but capacious works reached us in centuries the print of ancient time - outlook of the steppe inhabitant, human nature, features of his character, moral ethical principles is traced».