The poems in this book were written by the eminent Tatar poet, Hero of the Soviet Union and winner of the Lenin Prize, Mussa Jalil. In 1944 he fell at the hands of his fascist executioners in Moabit prison in Berlin. Mussa Jalil never kept a diary. He wrote poems instead. Every poem was his reaction to an event in his life, a life that cannot be separated from that of his country. His poems are full of love for his wonderful land, and hatred for its foes. They tell of the poet's life and his character which formed in persistent labour and struggle. Mustai Karim, a poet of Soviet Bashkiria, said of Mussa Jalil: "He has come to symbolise one of the summits of the greatness and pride of the Soviet people. It is just such people as he who, as ambassadors plenipotentiary, represent their country in the communion of the nations and peoples of the world. It is by them that the people of the world form their opinion of the character and heart of the nation that has given them birth".