Khasmagomed Edilov was born in 1922 in the village of Valerik, famed by its association with the Russian poet – Mikhail Lermontov.
This is where the Chechen poet lived in childhood. And wherever he went and whatever natural beauty moved him in his travel in far-away places, the poet always longed for a land close to his heart, to the essence of his poetry, which he described in one of his verses:
Valerik, running in my blood stream,
Always with me wherever I roam.
Never shall I forget
My slipped childhood years.
And when I’m far and long gone away ,
You’re always dear and enticing to me,
My aul (village) to which I pledged my faith,
And I have kept it ever since.
The poet’s travels and parting with his dear Valerik had been really long. After finishing a rural school, Khasmagomed Edilov graduated from Grozny’s pedagogical school and began working as an inspector of the People’s Education Commissariat of the Chechen Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. Afterward, for thirteen long years did he spend in deportation in Kazakhistan’s steppes. He worked wherever he could until he came to the editorial office of the newspaper Znamya Truda (Labor Banner), which was launched in Alma-Ata in 1955 specially for Chechens and Ingushes.
Upon his return to his native land, he worked in the republican newspaper – Lenin’s Way, and graduated from the Chechen-Ingush State University. All these years Edilov never parted with poetry with which he became associated from the age of 15. In 1937, when still a student of the pedagogical school, he composed his first verse, although his first poems appeared in the republican papers in 1939. He became finally established as a poet in 1941 when Edilov’s poems were published in a collection of young men of letters. It was planned to publish his own first book of poetry, but the outbreak of war against Nazi Germany foiled those plans. The Great Patriotic War began, then his exile in Kazakhstan and forced silence, writing furtively for fear of arrest. Therefore the first volume of verses and poems by Khasmagomed Edilov – “The October Light” – was published only in 1958 when he returned to Chechnya from exile. After that a number of books with his verses, poems and short stories were published in various years, such as “The Street of Peace”, “Marching into Morrow”, “A Hero”, “A Mother’s Love”, “On the Animal Trail”, his short story – “The Verdict” and others.
Khasmagomed Edilov joined the Writers’ Union in 1963. The main theme of all his works were everlasting values such as the native land, love, nature and human relationships. He died in 1991.
One other facet of the poet’s talent needs to be mentioned. He was an excellent translator, who translated many various authors, and primarily, works by Mikhail Lermontov. He did it masterfully, conveying the peculiarity, spirit and style of the talented creations of the great Russian poet.
Khasmagomed Edilov was a faithful son of his people, a bard of reason, goodness and hope. He always dreamed of a time when a person:
By the force of reason in an argument,
Moderates his opponents’ fervor,
But he makes sure
To keep our powder dry,
To keep up with the times;
So that our children live cared for,
So that our girls’ countenance stay undimmed,
And so that our man walk proudly
Far and wide across the planet!