Vahram Hadjian
Vahan TekeyanVahan Tekeyan was known as a perfectionist, stomach because lit always looked for the precise word. He was born in Istanbul in 1878 and educated in the Armenian schools there. His first poems were collected and published in 1901. Besides his own books, doctor he published translations of French symbolist poetry and the sonnets of Shakespeare. The sonnet remained his favorite form.

During the 1896 persecutions, infertility Tekeyan left Istanbul for Europe. He returned, but subsequently settled in Egypt, where he was active in Armenian political life and edited the Armenian newspaper, Arev.

His books are "Burdens" (1901), "The Wonderful Rebirth" (1914), "From Midnight Until Dawn" (1918), "Love" (1933), "Armenian Songs" (1943), and "Book of Odes" (1944).







Translated from Armenian by Daniel Janoyan
Nicosia, Cyprus, January 28, 1983

I don’t mind if it were for a game,
But at least just for once
One of them should have looked at me,
Or smiled at me or just informed me
That she had also loved me,
Just as I had loved someone silently.

Never mind if it were for bargain,
But at least just for a moment
Someone should have made me believe
That a ray, having flown from my heart,
Had burned her and gone off into my heart.

Never mind if she were then to humiliate me,
And make fun of me and also torture me,
My life would then have resembled other lives
That are troubled, content and calm,
Never mind if it were just for some time.

Never mind then if luck hadn’t smiled to me for ever,
I would have, any way, seen you face to face
O love, naked of all evil,
And one that even makes death beautiful.
Translated from Armenian by Daniel Janoyan
Nicosia, Cyprus, January 30, 1983


The day has come for me to confess
To all mankind that I am not what you think of me.
I am a mere weak man indeed,
Having no confidence in my belief,
Always suspicious and full of worries
About the truth of my movements
Going towards evil darkness.

I would then tell those people,
No longing has warmed me,
To inspire me and become a power.
I have no barrel nor jar, full of ardent wine,
For people to get drunk from.

And at last am I clever?
No, I am a weakling of madness.
Am I then wise?
No, as my mind could never overcome my senses
That have dug me a deadlock hole.

And, when at times I get rid of the burden
That had oppressed me,
I turn to God and glorify Him,
Who not having made what I wanted,
He made of me what I’m really am today.
Translated from Armenian by Daniel Janoyan
Nicosia, Cyprus — January 24, 1983

"How did I get this wish?" You may say.
I wanted to be a saint, a true saint.
One who would be enlined to other saints,
Who had lived the life of a saint,
And was martyred like a saint,
And had witnessed God high above in heavens.

I used to say the only sin that might stop me
From becoming a saint,
And perhaps I might have committed that sin
When I was then eight years old,
When one day I had covered my face
With both hands and during class sessions
I had cried due to fear and due to pain.

One other day was when I went straight to a blind beggar’
With a bag full of bread hung from his shoulders,
And took hold of his hand
And then kissed his hand.

I used to pray with my father,
Every day and every night.
I used to think of my life everywhere,
And also about my death …
For I was a boy then and I surely wanted to be saint.
Translated from Armenian by Daniel Janoyan
Nicosia, November 21, 1982

It is raining, my son.
The autumn is wet and like wet eyes, it is deceived by love.
Go and close the window and the door,
And come sit in front of me within the eminent silence.

It is raining, my son …
Sometimes it also rains within your heart.
Your heart catches cold and you begin to shiver
Thinking of the bright sun of the past.

Beneath a door and a blocked destiny,
You are crying , my son — within the dark suddenly
Heavy tears drop down your eyes


Shed the never ending tears of innocence,
Shed tears innocently, my poor ignorant son,
Poor prey of life, keep crying so that you may grow.
Translated from Armenian by Daniel Janoyan
Nicosia, Cyprus, October 10, 1983


I was in love
But no one amongst my lovers knew
How much I loved her... It’s true,
Who can read one’s hear true?

During great moments of happiness,
During sharp moments of sadness,
Those who have inspired me,
Don’t really, at this moment, know me.

My love resembles such a gate
Through which no one ever passes,
Covered all over with flowers,
A secret garden indeed my love resembles.

And if there are people who witnessed
My love rising just like a smoke
Up the eternal skies,
They have surely not seen its fiery flames.
I was in love,
But no one amongst my lovers knew
How much I loved her …. It’s true,
Who can read one’s heart true?
Translated from Armenian by Daniel Janoyan
Nicosia, Cyprus, September 15, 1983


Occasionally, I used to ask myself,
"What’s the spirit like,
I mean the Armenian spirit?"
And then at times my heart would cry
And times it would smile.
I would cry hopelessly
And sometimes have such foolish hopes
That reach the peaks of glories high,
I would then again ask myself sadly,
"What’s the spirit like,
I mean the Armenian spirit?"

"What’s the spirit like,
I mean the Armenian spirit?"
I had hardly asked myself this,
When that very spirit like a cloud revealed to me,
One of a cloud that descends down
And becomes a fog at times,
And at times becomes rosy and white
Spreading in layers all over the skies,
That eternal spirit, the Armenian spirit.

"What’s the spirit like,
I mean the Armenian spirit?"
I am still asking myself this,
And I find it half plunged into mud.
But, as a soldier who keeps fighting all the time,
No kind of mud can ever dirty the spirit.
And from within that very horrible mud
I would still embrace the weary Armenian spirit,
The HOLY SPIRIT.


Translated from Armenian by Daniel Janoyan
Nicosia, October 18, 1984

Very few on earth
Used to read the language I wrote in,
And even those became fewer
A hundred years later.
Perhaps this sweet language as it is?
Spoken by boys very sweet
Whether with the right pronunciation or wrong
May not have speakers any more.

As to its structure
And to every syllable and every word,
For which I have devoted myself,
May just rest in one corner
Without the right stress being used at all.

O God, this is yet another pain,
In addition to the countless other pains,
Through which I have always passed
Forming and putting together here
These few verses of mine dear.

But I have always and only
Sang for myself only
To inspire me and also thinking
That my broken heart
Can inspire other hearts
Through my songs holy.
Translated from Armenian by Daniel Janoyan
Glendale, CA, November 10, 1999

My mother used to narrate that
"When we were still living in YALEN,
I never remembered, mother,
Where you were or if you were still in heaven.
One day your older brother
Dropped your father's
Amber rosary into the sea
And which resembled exactly the one you had.

The sea at that point was very deep
Measuring about six fathoms
And the tide passing by our home
Was indeed extremely very high and strong.

We brought a Jewish diver
Who asked for a bottle of olive oil.
He poured the oil into the sea
And let it sink under the sea leaving no trace to see.

The water became crystal clear like a mirror
And suddenly turned peaceful and very clear,
While the man, tied up to a rope,
Continued to swim down under.
He repeated this three times
Swimming up and down three times
On his third attempt what one saw,
The rosary was seen in his hands.

Mother, what should I do
To calm down the troubled seas of my heart,
To enable me see the depth clearly
And also to be able to bring about
All my treasures' past
Those pure lost treasures of the past
O Mother, my very longing Mother,
Hand me that olive oil lamp so as to bring peace to all.
Translated from Armenian by Daniel Janoyan
Glendale, CA, March 31, 2006

Your memories tonight make me feel like crying;
Your memories seem to have deserted my heart, but secretly
Want to come back, longing for their old place and caress,
Squeezing themselves in my lap, and climbing above my breasts.

Your portrait within my eyes and your voice in my ears,
Excite me all night long, filling up my veins
With sweet smells of your breadth, they lullaby me all night through,
While your invisible fingers seem to pass cross my face.

The never lost old memories we have, will come back one by one to us,
Along with the caravan and stars, they will come again to us,
My heart is like an open sheep camp, open to its dear flock.

Your memories tonight make me feel like a millionaire,
Extremely good and happy too, so much so that I feel like spreading them all
To all the unfortunate people of this world in deep compassion, too.


A SCENE OF DEATH

Translated from Armenian by Daniel Janoyan
Glendale, buy February 22, medical 1991


I hear the bells of the other world,
Where I am also going to leave to and also go.
I will also one day bid my friends farewell,
And a cold tombstone will be the last witness of my tortured life
To stand over my grave with thoughts very mystic.

I will be departing and I will be going far, far away,
Not longing anybody nor also disgusting.
And may be no one will comment anything about my very dark and damp grave.
My loss might bring wonder and perhaps sympathy to men,
But with my death the world will have at least one less pain to care.


ADDRESSING TORTURE

Translated from Armenian by Daniel Janoyan
Glendale, February 22, 1991


You entered my door and entered freely.
I became a guest, while you — the landlord.
You became too close and faithful to me.
You felt I was an orphan, no one caring for me.

You accompanied me everywhere,
You visited me every single hour.
And like a lightening, you came and passed,
Destroying everything just like a gust.

You looked at my rays suspiciously,
You became jealous even at my hopes.
You even interfered in every
Single word and line I wrote.

You, O life of mine, you were born of sins,
You are a heavy and difficult burden.
You are my senseless torture,
You are my lord and eternal shelter.


ONE DAY YOU WILL WONDER
(POEMS AND VERSES)


Translated from Armenian by Daniel Janoyan
El Monte, July 13, 1995


It is said when people get older, they get wiser. They become more optimistic. A human being learns his lessons and continues to grow through his living experiences until he reaches his climax. It seems the same thing has happened to me. It seems I too, having grown old, I have been matured and through which I was able to write these poems and verses expressing my philosophical thoughts that have not yet been published. At this point I would like to present them to the NOR GYANK readers.

I too was in love just like everybody,
I too got all the pleasures of sweet-lipped ladies.
Occasionally, prostitutes were hugged by me,
And later, I cried and hated myself for days to be.

* * * * * *

They laughed at me
They brought pain to me and left
And, woe to them, just before I died,
They came and cried for me.
They took away my water from me,
They ate my share of bread.
They spread salt on my wounds
And whatever I had, they took away from me.

* * * * * *

I have nothing else in this life.
Everything is gone and flown away.
It seems I am in a monastery now
Where nothing is left for one to find.
Where the walls are naked and wet,
Where a thought swells in one’s mind.
Where even God, Himself,
Tends to cry over one’s fate.

* * * * * *

Where are you heading O good man,
This place is the same for everybody.
Do say nothing and do have no complaints,
This place is the same for everybody.

Even though you reach the top of the earth,
You will be going to the very same place.
You will also be coming and you will be going
And to the worms eventually food you shall be.

Time will pass by you and you will regret it.
Then you will go crazy because of your pains.
Later you will hand over yourself to a glass of wine,
And you will bury yourself in your grave of tears.

* * * * * *

Since the day you are born
You become a slave of the dead, my friend.
You become a bondman and death becomes your master, my friend.
What can you tell this brutal universe, my friend?

* * * * * *

I too, I too was able to live my share of life.
I too was able to see my sixtieth birthday.
I bore my fate as my crucification.
What can I say? Woe to this dishonest world of ours.

* * * * * *

You will also come and pass by
Whether your path be dark or bright.
Don’t ever mess up your feelings
Attempting to be lucky.
Try never to apprehend
The secrets of life and death.
Give way and lean towards torture
And enjoy yourself through the stars.

* * * * * *

They understood me and they did not.
At times they came close to me and then they deserted me.
At times they smiled at me and at times they got angry at me,
Leaving me in between the good and the bad.

* * * * * *

Live up your life and enjoy it so long as you are alive.
Love others and be in love as much as you can love.
Don’t let pain ever your doors open,
Don’t ever leave your glass of wine not drunk in full.

* * * * * *

No matter how much I laugh or I live up to be,
I will still remain thirsty.
Although for good I will get drunk for love
I will still remain thirsty.
No matter if I had all the pleasures of life in one day,
And I become the master of all women,
I will still consider myself to be thirsty.

* * * * * *

You will be living your moments of life
Though I know that is also a lie.
You will be burning just like a candle
Until your nights become so dark.
Until your hopes are shattered down
And your dreams become breathless,
Until your heart is also broken
And your days become destroyed.


I WANT TO

Translated from Armenian by Daniel Janoyan
Glendale, December 30, 1999


Some thoughts come into my mind
Some thoughts which strange do often sound.
I want to reach the summits of some mountains,
Mountains, that come and go within my mind.

I want to be a wild flower of a mountain
That has been approached by no one before
I want my heart to be burned by a love spark
Ignoring and forgetting my entire unfortunate life.

I want new heavens to become stars within myself
To take away my sincerity along with the dark.
My new longings to take new flames wake me up
To burn down my entire life with only one warm hug.
 
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