From: Elif Batuman, The Possessed

Tuesday, 29 October 2019 16:10

The greatest Old Uzbek didactic writer was the twelfth-century poet Adib Akhmad Yugnakiy. Yugnakiy, who suffered from congenital blindness, demonstrated in numerous ways his preternatural poetic vision – for instance, by moulding a cooked bean into the shape of a ram, an animal he had never seen before. 'A ram,' Dilorom repeated, and drew in my notebook a picture of a bean, followed by a picture of a ram. The ram had a mild, sickly countenance and huge curved horns. Who was the true genius: Yugnakiy or the nameless one who first saw a bean mashed up by a blind poet and called it ram?