By tradition, the beginning of autumn in Dagestan (North Caucasus) is marked by a holiday of Rasul Gamzatov. This time the year 2003 has been declared in the republic as Rasul Gamzatov Year. The People's Poet of Dagestan turns 80 on September 8.
The jubilee of the outstanding poet is a holiday not only for the whole of multiethnic Russian literature. These days congratulatory telegrams are coming in to his home in Makhachkala from all over Russia, CIS- and non-CIS countries.
What is the best present for the poet's jubilee?
"It goes without saying that this is the edition of his works, " Gamzatov answers to the RIA Novosti correspondent. "Eight volumes of my works have been brought out in Moscow in Russian. Eighteen volumes of my verses have been published in Dagestan. In Germany, my works have been brought out in one volume - a big and colourful book. All this is an enormous wealth for me and I am proud of it", he said.