In literature, as with many art forms, reflects life and times in its country of script. In Southern Azerbaijan for example, language, art and spiritual values have been under pressure over the last 80 years, due to political and financial changes. In literature this pressure is reflected in the recurring themes of rebirth, revival, separation and self-assertion. The collapse of the Soviet Union and gaining of independence by the Azerbaijan Republic to the north in the early 1990s had an impact on Southern Azerbaijan in a similar sense.  Actions of freedom, such as the barbed wire at the border being removed, and the separation of the Azerbaijani people coming to an end left relations in art and literature had room to grow and develop. TV channels from Turkey and the Azerbaijan Republic were broadcast via satellite to Iran.

National revival, which occurs periodically in Azerbaijan, can always be seen first in literature in the mother tongue, Azerbaijani.


Azerbaijan has a national demeanour of being very romantic, to this end poetry is very popular. generally lyrics of traditional Azerbaijani poetry only ranges between Love and socio-political poetry.

The main types of poem writing style in Azerbaijan are commonly:

  • Ghazal – poems dedicated to love (N. Ganjavi, M. Fuzuli, İ. Nasimi, S. Shirvani, etc created the best examples of ghazal’s)
  • Odes (Qasida) – are longer in amount of hemistichs. Qasida is written in solemn, flamboyant style and as a rule expresses the public problems. Ina minajat type of Qasida, Allah is praised and the poet asks for spiritual aid. In the Fakhriyya ode, the poet proudly speaks about himself.
  • Qita – a Qita looks is much like the short ghazal but has more socio-political, moral and educational content
  • Rubai – this poem has social, philosophical content. Ruba is written in a hajaz bahr of aruz rhythm, and the type recall’s Omar Khayyam (X century), a great Rubai poet. In Azerbaijani literary history Mehseti Ganjavi is also recognised as an outstanding representative of rubai.
  • Tuyuq – this is a genre specific to literature of Turkic people. Tuyuq in Turkic means feel / feeling. In total, consisting of four stanzas, and having wise content, the rhyme system is written in ramal bahr of Aruz. Tuyuq is connected with the name of G. Burhaneddin in Azerbaijani literature.

Murabbe – In murabbe, each section consists of four hemistich, in its first couplet of murabbe, all hemistich’s rhyme

Mukhammas – each couplet of mukhammas consists of five hemistich. Poems of M. P. Vagif “I did not see” and G. Zakir’s, “Does” are perfect examples of mukhammas.

Musaddas – The meaning of the word is six.  It is genre of poetry having the six-hemistich in each couplet. It consists of 6-10 coupletrs. M. A. Sabir’s “Sattarkhan” poem is the best sample of musaddas in Azerbaijani literature.



Folklore & Myths

Folklore in Azerbaijan originates in ancient layers of socio-ancestral culture. Primarily creative works with literal meaning on forming of the world, man and all we know – including Allah and gods ruling the world. This art form in Azerbaijan is important for a culture of proud literature, romanticism and lyrical music. Azerbaijan mythology runs in close parallel to Turkish mythology, for exampl,e in ancient Turkic mythology, and in Azerbaijan traces of main mythic images like Tanry (Heavenly Tanri- main allah) and Humay (all of the earth) can be traced.

Azerbaijani mythology is rich with old faith, beliefs, anthropomorphic and zoomorphic meetings. Strongly integrated into culture and the expressive arts in Azerbaijan, are traditional stories that are passed through generations. The Maiden in The Tower for example is a popular story that has been told across traditional and new media mediums. The story has a number of different versions and differences, and is often tragic. A king falls in love with a maiden as he try to apprehend her for marriage she kills herself by plummeting for the tower to her death. This well loved story was one of the first films that Azerbaijan made, which was filmed in the actual tower.