Born Apr. 18 (May 1), 1908, in the village of Tue-Dzhar, in what is now Dzhangi-Dzhol Raion, Osh Oblast. Soviet Kirghiz poet. People’s Poet of Kirghizia (1968). Member of the CPSU since 1932.
Umetaliev grew up in an orphanage. He served in the Great Patriotic War (1941–45). Even in his early works, which were first published in 1932, he strove to re-create the everyday life of Kirghizia. Umetaliev published the collections Verses of Victory (1943) and Hero (1944) and in 1953 wrote the narrative poem Kubat, which depicts the character development of a Soviet intellectual and his path to military valor. In the postwar years, Umetaliev returned to the theme of peaceful labor in such works as Poem of the Shepherd and Poem of the White Gold (both 1956). He is also well known for his philosophical poems and love lyrics.
Umetaliev’s poetry, basically national in spirit, employs numerous elements of folklore, especially in style and imagery. Umetaliev also writes for children. He has translated works by A. S. Pushkin, V. V. Mayakovsky, N. S. Tikhonov, M. Bazhan, and other writers.
Umetaliev has been awarded the Order of Lenin, two other orders, and various medals.
WORKSChïgarmalar jïynagï, vols. 1–2. Frunze, 1958–59.
Ïr jürögü karïbayt. Frunze, 1967.
In Russian translation:
Dorozhnaia pesnia. Moscow, 1958.
Vesennie struny. Frunze, 1961.
Kirgizskie napevy. Moscow, 1972.