Suleiman Stalskii

Suleiman Stal’skii


Born May 18, 1869, in the aul (village) of Ashaga-Stal, now in Kasumkent Raion, Dagestan ASSR; died there Nov. 23, 1937; buried in Makhachkala. Soviet Lezgin poet and ashug (folk singer and storyteller). People’s Poet of Dagestan (1934).

Suleiman Stal’skii was orphaned at an early age. He spent more than 20 years as a seasonal hired hand. Beginning in the first years of the 20th century he lived the life of a peasant. Suleiman Stal’skii took part in the October Revolution of 1917 and fought in the Civil War (1918–20). In 1925 he became a member of the Central Executive Committee of Dagestan. In 1930 he joined a kolkhoz with his family.

Suleiman Stal’skii’s epigrams, denunciatory songs, and satirical poems attacked perpetrators of social evils. In 1915 he wrote the highly satirical song “The Merchants and the Red-Tapists.” The October Revolution of 1917 and the Civil War provided him with new themes and images.

The consolidation of Soviet power in Dagestan in 1920 broadened the range of Suleiman Stal’skii’s work. Suleiman Stal’skii responded to all the events taking place in the USSR, in Dagestan, and in his aul; he helped establish new forms of labor and life. His chronicle narrative poem Dagestan, composed in 1935 and 1936, was in the spirit of traditional folk poetry. Suleiman Stal’skii raised Dagestan folklore to the level of literature and enriched literature with living forms of folk traditions. At the first Congress of Writers, M. Gorky called Suleiman Stal’skii “the Homer of the 20th century.”

Suleiman Stal’skii’s poems have been translated into many national languages of the USSR. He was awarded the Order of Lenin.


K’ve ktabda avai iaratmishunar, vols. 1–2. Makhachkala, 1958–59.
In Russian translation:
Stikhi i pesni. [Edited and with an introductory article by E. Kapiev.] Moscow, 1936.
Soch. [Introductory article by A. Agaev.] Makhachkala, 1964.
Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1969.


Agaev, A. Suleiman Stal’skii: Zhizn’ i tvorchestvo. Makhachkala, 1963.
Ganzurova, N., and L. Sedova. Suleiman Stal’skii (1869–1937): Bibliografich. ukazatel’. Makhachkala, 1969.