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Daniel Varuzhan

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#1 Arpa



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Posted 21 August 2002 - 05:50 AM

DZON (Dedication) by Daniel Varuzhan

Although this is probably not his first but it can be viewed as a preface and an introduction for his entire work, just as it can apply to the work of every poet throughout our history, all the way from Mashtots to Narekatsi and the host of thousands of them all. It can also be viewed as a postscipt as it speaks in the past tense(Yeghegnya grchov yergetsi, With a plume of reed I sang you songs). It is in the style of Mashtots and it is based, borrowed from the latter's Vahagni Dznound@ when it goes;
"@nd yeghegan pogh dzoukh yelaner, From that reedy pipe a plume of smoke rose"

Դանիէլ Վարուժան

Եղեգնեայ գըրչով երգեցի փառքեր.
-Քեզի ընծա՜յ, իմ Հայրենիք-
Սօսեաց անտառէն էի զայն կըտրեր...
-Քեզի ընծա՜յ, հին Հայրենիք-
Եղեգնեայ գըրչով երգեցի քուրմեր.
Ընդ եղեգան փող ծուխ ելաներ։

Եղեգնեայ գըրչով երգեցի կարօտ.
-Ձեզի ընծա՜յ հայ պանդուխտներ-
Ան տարաշխարհիկ բոյսի մ՛էր ծղօտ...
-Ձեզի ընծա՜յ, հէք պանդուխտներ-
Եղեգնեայ գըրչով երգեցի հարսեր.
Ընդ եղեգան փող ո՜ղբ ելանէր։

Եղեգնեայ գըրչով երգեցի արիւն.
-Ձեզի ընծա՜յ, սուրի զոհեր-
Ան ծլած էր մոխրի մէջ իբրեւ կընիւն...
Ձեզի ընծա՜յ, կրակի զոհեր-
Եղեգնեայ գըրչով երգեցի վերքեր.
Ընդ եղեգան փող սի՛րտս ելաներ։

Եղեգնեայ գըրչով որբ տունս երգեցի.
-Քեզի ընծա՜յ, հայր ալեհեր-
Ցամքած աղբիւրէն մեր զայն յօտեցի...
-Քեզի ընծա՜յ, մայր կարեվէր-
Եղեգնեայ գըրչով օճախս երգեցի.
Ընդ եղեգան փող ծու՛խ ելանէր։

Ու պայքա՜ր, պայքա՜ր, պայքա՜ր երգեցի.
-Ձեզի ընծա՜յ, հայ մարտիկներ-
Գրիչս եղաւ անթրոց սըրտերու հնոցի...
-Ձեզի ընծա՜յ քաջ մարտիկենր-
Եղեգնեայ գըրչով վըրէժ երգեցի.
Ընդ եղեգան փող բո՛ց ելանէր։

#2 Yeznig


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Posted 07 January 2004 - 07:51 AM

Happy New Year to all HyeForum members. I have only recently begun to read this great poet and have discovered the following commentary by Eddie Arnavoudian on Groong. It is long but interesting. I urge you to read the poet.

Armenian News Network / Groong
October 20, 2003

By Eddie Arnavoudian

Whatever page you open from Siamanto, it is always Siamanto -
noble, magnificent, heroic. But on every page of Varoujean you
discover a new Varoujean, a Varoujean with a novel light, a new
strength, an original beauty.'
-- Karekin Khazhak

If around me all is darkness
I shall flare and sparkle for my fellow men and women
Hurling myself to the ground
I'll block the path of despair.
-- Baryour Sevak


Art is always critical, always radical. It is indeed always
revolutionary in the sense that spurred on by the enthusiasms of a
restless intellect and imagination it measures and tests the limits of
the present. It validates or condemns and then goes beyond in an
adventure of expectation born of a particular grasp of reality. Poetry
does this at a more concentrated, intense, heightened level. It
proposes surprising and invigorating pathways that arise from novel
combinations of experience, intellect and imagination. Delving into
all that rests dormant within us, in layer upon layer of past
experience, it uncovers and refashions buried possibilities, forgotten
options. Today, in the year of 2003, when reigning powers drag
humanity one more step into the 'new dark ages' against which Barouyr
Sevak forewarned, poetry can still, despite all the barbarisms of the
age, be a 'flair and sparkle' to help guide our steps beyond the path
of despair.

Among those with an enduring place in that chorus that keeps faith in
the human dream, alongside Walt Whitman, Pablo Neruda, Nazim Hikmet,
Mahmoud Darwish, Barouyr Sevak and others, is another Armenian poet
Daniel Varoujean (1884-1915). Varoujean's poetry (Selected Works,
576pp, Sovetakan Grogh, Yerevan, 1981 - contains his complete poems
and a selection of his prose and letters) speaks directly and
forcefully to our own age. Though penned prior to 1915 and steeped in
the classical Armenian and 19th century European tradition,
Varoujean's critique of the realities and injustices of the 20th
century remain a living protest against 21st century abuses of the
human spirit, the human mind and the human body. His poetry throws
down the gauntlet to all barbarisms - individual, social, national,
political - and celebrates the joy of living, the passion for freedom,
the pleasures of the senses as well as the fulfilment and creativity
of life-enhancing labour.

There are no immutable criteria or checklists against which one can
measure the contemporary purchase or the 'greatness' of a classic
poetic work. Poetic greatness must be socially affirmed by each
generation as it searches for inspiration, courage and conviction in
pursuit of its dreams. Otherwise terms such as 'superb artistry', a
'wizard of metaphors', 'linguistic magic' or a 'compelling
imagination' risk becoming little more than meaningless superlatives.
So the business of the commentator is not to pass some impossible
final judgement but to help liberate poetry and the poet from
one-sided interpretation, or release his/her work from the prison of
unread books. So too with Varoujean who is increasingly thus
incarcerated but who, once released, can bring a new throb to hoping

At a 1912 symposium launching Varoujean's 'Pagan Songs', Krikor Zohrab
(1861-1915), a contemporary writer, noted the breadth and authenticity
of the poet's vision:

'We find him always close to nature, a real optimist who believes
in better days. He has great faith in and respect for life. He is,
if you wish, a lover of life and that in its most noble and
philosophical sense. Things that are often seen as little more
than metaphysical abstractions he sees in real life.'
(Daniel Varoujean, ed. Terenik Jizmejian, Cario, Egypt, 1955, p200)

In contrast to Zohrab's appreciation there is something decidedly
unsatisfactory in much of contemporary commentary on Varoujean. Even
when correctly noting his excellence with metaphor and image, his
modernism, his breach with old poetic forms or his rejection of
purposeless rhyme there is either a silence on or superficiality about
the philosophical and social substance of his work. Yet without an
appreciation of this, an organic and inextricable aspect of
Varoujean's poetry, even the best of critics can only perch at the
edges, never to appreciate its substance or its capacity to address
the lives of several generations. The interpretation of poetry within
the objective limits imposed by the text can be immensely diverse,
suggesting differing, conflicting or even incompatible meanings. But
to disregard the dimension captured in Zohrab's evaluation, to bypass
the vision of human emancipation that is so central to Varoujean's
creative effort diminishes both its range and contemporary resonance.

Needless to say Varoujean's conception of emancipation is free from
any narrow, lifeless or metaphysical definition. There is no vulgar
and unwarranted abstraction of society or its counter-position to the
individual. Each is a living and necessary conditions for the other.
In its individual as well as collective aspect, Varoujean's conception
has a richness and profundity that flows from an intellectual and
emotional proximity to lived experience and to the lived experience of
the 'common people' in particular. His poetry that portrays misery and
imagines release from psychological, emotional or material miseries is
moulded by the contours of everyday life and not by any turgid, a
priori philosophical conceptions or fashionable political slogans.


'Trembling' was Varoujean's first book published in 1906. It is slim,
containing only 18 poems. Expressing the conflicts and contradictions
of his age ten others he submitted for the volume were rejected by the
editors, the priests from the Venice Mekhitarist Congregation.
'Trembling' by no means represents the best of Varoujean's work. Yet
every facet of its production - artistic, editorial and technical -
marks it as the battleground on which he triumphantly measured his
radical humanism and his emancipatory ambition against the
conservative and reactionary authorities of the day. Varoujean was
then only 22.

In 'Trembling' we already witness Varoujean as the poet-philosopher,
the analytical thinker and the sociologist as magician. We see here
the authentic poet who can profoundly and movingly echo the times and
the dreams of the common man and woman. From the outset he was
conscious of both social purpose and poetic principle. Just months
after the publication of 'Trembling' in a letter to his friend Rafael
Bazanjian, Varoujean underlined both his analytical approach and the
broad social import of his poetry when contrasting himself with an
earlier poet, Bedros Tourian:

'The motive force behind Tourian's melancholy is himself. In my
case it is the melancholy of others. Tourian weeps for being
unable to smile. I weep from pity and anger. Tourian feels
nature, I explain it. Tourian describes himself, I analyse myself.'
(SW p509)

So 'Trembling' is rich with social and philosophic substance. But it
is also pervaded by significant internal tensions and contradictions
that are expressed in the clash between a spirited humanist vision and
a weary Christian mysticism. But in this opposition there is nothing
that is abstract or dogmatic. It marks the real development of the
poet's individual outlook and the broader struggle to democratise
Armenian life, curtail the tyranny of the elite and to tear away the
obscurantism of the Armenian Church as necessary steps in the journey
towards cultural revival, political emancipation and national

Varoujean was conscious of these tensions in his work. In the same
letter to Bazanjian, a defence of 'Trembling' against its critics, he
notes that one of the poems (At The Doorstep to Eternity):

'was conceived when I was at one and the same time reading
Rousseau, Tolstoy and Voltaire along with the Bible. I cannot
express those moments of spiritual torture and crisis I
experienced. Taking place within me was a battle between light and
dark, and I could not tell whether it was the light of a dawn or
the dying light of dusk. (SW p516)

This confession of individual turmoil is preceded by a remark that
registers wider, social and political preoccupations. He writes

'I am one of the evil flowers of Murat Raphaelian (the Mekhitarist
controlled Armenian school in Venice). I am one of the deviant
rebels who reject its project (if it still has one). I regard
myself as part of the blossoming of a new Armenian generation.
Murat Raphaelian is old, desiccated and rusty. It is remote from the
progressive and novel needs of the day.' (SW p512)

Clearly Varoujean's interest in and passion for 18th and 19th century
European thinkers was not just academic. He studied them as part of
his preparation for storming the bastions of unacceptable authority.
Educated within the stifling confines of the stoutly Catholic
Mekhitarist Congregaton, it is not surprising that in Voltaire and
Rousseau Varoujean would discover an exhilarating promise of liberation.
In Europe, such authors may have been superseded. But in Armenian life
where the conservative and reactionary elite and Church remained
decisive forces, Enlightenment thought continued to provide all manner
of 'deviant rebels' with powerful ammunition.


However implicit, essential principles of Enlightenment thinking are
an ever-present undercurrent throughout 'Trembling'. They do not
however appear as mechanical or rhetorical reiteration. Creatively
appropriating and enriching Enlightenment conceptions of human
potential and the primacy of the secular social order, Varoujean
deployed them to challenge and overcome a ruinous passivity,
submissiveness and fatalism that had for centuries embedded itself in
the psyche and consciousness of the Armenian people.

'To the Muse', the first poem in 'Trembling', immediately asserts a
categorical separation between 'Nature', of which humanity is a part,
and 'God' that marks a radical breach from fatalist theological
thought. Varoujean cries out 'I want to sing, I want to sing, for
Nature and God speak through song' (p19). This capitalisation of
'Nature' and its precedence over 'God' indicates more than just a
diminishing of God's status in relation to Nature. God and nature
acquire independent and equal status - both 'speak', that is both have
their own inherent wisdom, significance and message. The poet's desire
to sing like Nature and God contains that stamp of Enlightenment
confidence in inherent human potential.

Flowing from this confidence in the independent status and the
potential of human beings there is in 'Trembling' an unmistakeable
rejection of the notion of the divine ordination of social
affairs. The human spirit and body is broken not as a result of a fall
from grace or defiance of divine law, but from the corruption of
secular relations between human beings. Entombed in the 'Snow Coffin'
is none other than 'the hungry boy we turned away from our door.'
(p26). It is not inherent sinfulness but poverty that 'drives a man
to vice'. From a 'thousand drunks nine hundred are paupers/seeking to
forget the world that has forgotten them' (p27). In a moving comment
on miscarriages in pregnancy, Varoujean remarks that these are
'suffered/by impoverished women' eternally 'harnessed to harsh labour
and hunger'. (p39) It is social iniquity that casts a deadly pall on
life and human relations. For women so long as they are ' condemned to
a thousand type of hard labour' the sexual instinct itself and 'the
male kiss will be a misfortune' and her 'womb a tomb.' (p39)

Firing Varoujean's 'pity and anger', these principles explode into a
protest against a supposedly benevolent divine power who nevertheless
'would condemn man to man's exploitation/ condemn the frail forehead
to the trampling of the victor's boot.' (p26) What sort of divine
power is it that 'breaks/the arm upon which rests' the 'children and
the ageing parents' of the migrant labourer? (p52) Unwilling to place
hopes for human salvation on a deity that has displayed so much scorn
for human life the poet explores emancipatory possibilities that flow
directly from our condition of being human. Beyond theology Varoujean
premises emancipation on a demand for 'universal human solidarity'
that 'binding heart to heart' will replace 'the vastness of cold
abandonment. (p33)

Without making any profound philosophic claims about Vaourjean's
thought one can see in his humanism a vital and democratic core that
is either absent or only vaguely adumbrated in earlier European
thought. The latter did insist upon the primacy of society and it did
place the secular human being at the centre of their concern. But the
human that inhabited its thought was little more than an abstract
Being. In contrast the men and women inhabiting the world of
Varoujean's poetry are not only of flesh and blood but represent the
majority of humanity, the 'common people' with all their woes and
ambitions. In this connection Khachig Tololyan aptly notes that
Varoujean's 'imaginative sympathy, his ability to feel the suffering
of others as his own, and then to render the pain-almost as his own,
in the most extraordinary language, is his special gift.' It is this
that divides Varoujean's humanism so radically from that of the
European thinkers he read in Venice.

So Varoujean's poetry ranges across anything from potentially
life-enhancing human relationships (Bless Me Father) to the miserable
death of the destitute and demoralised labourer (The Snow Coffin). He
pleads in defence of the mentally ill schoolboy (Charity My Children),
considers the grief of a humble family that has lost its home (Before
the Ashes) and condemns the poverty that induces miscarriages (The
Miscarriage). He touches also on a central aspect of the Armenian, and
Third World experience - forced emigration (He is Ill). Still further
he contemplates man's abuse of nature and his stifling of his own
spiritual and intellectual flight (To the Fish in the Pond). Nothing
in the experience of the common people is alien to his magic and in
each instance he reveals its profoundly universal dimension. It is
this that lends his humanism its richness, its depth and its enduring

In contrast to these poems, those with pronounced theological or
Christian concerns lack verve and cogency. They suggest ruses to allay
a guilty conscience or placate hostile authority. Despite polished
language and wonderful metaphor they fail to startle. They lack
intellectual or emotional passion. E. P. Thompson's evaluation of
Wordsworth's later poems is apt for these lesser works in 'Trembling':

'They are too dutiful, too much the product not of the poet but of
his inner moral censor; he wrote not out of belief, nor out of the
tensions of belief but out of a sense of what he ought to believe.
Good views seldom make good poetry, whether these views are those
approved of by the Anglican Church or the vanguard of the working
class.' (The Romantics p67)

It is hardly surprising then that the Mekhitarists attempted to alter
the tone of Varoujean's book. In a letter to poet Vahan Tekeyan,
Varoujean explains that they found the poetry 'too scandalous for
their ancient innocence and conservatism'. In another to Arshak
Chobanian he complained that 'the better part of the volume was not
published- thanks to the celibate sensibilities' of the publishers.
Despite these excisions, the balance of the volume remained decidedly
in favour of the 'deviant rebels'. The humanist vein stands out
sharply, in part indeed by its contrast with those poems that are
little more than listless religious genuflection.

In view of the breadth of secular concern in 'Trembling' and its
pronounced empathy for the common people as well as its critique of
elite and Church one cannot but puzzle over prominent Soviet Armenian
writer and editor Soghomon Daronetzi's view that it 'is seriously
limited for 'never going beyond a narrow national-religious
framework.' This somewhat perverse distortion is particularly
surprising coming as it does from a man who devoted a good deal of his
life propagating the virtues of western Armenian poetry. 'Trembling'
in fact confirms the opposite and underlines a rather singular and
remarkable fact about some of the best of modern Armenian poetry.

Despite the Armenian experience of centuries upon centuries of
national oppression the greatest of Armenian poets, even in their
patriotic poetry, are among the most humanist and internationalist.
With Varoujean this was a conscious starting point and a first
principle in his creative activity. Writing, again to Bazanjian, he
declares that his 'first principle is this: in our literature the art
must be Armenian and the idea that forms its foundation or pillar must
be universal.' (SW p503).


Supported by a firm scaffolding of humanist thought, Varoujean in
'Trembling' begins to contest the iniquities of contemporary life. A
fine poem 'To The Muse' (p19) is rich with suggestions about aesthetic
theory and can throw light on virtually the entirety of Varoujean's
output. But primarily it is a radical manifesto of individual and
social ambition setting out, in the form of a dramatic dialogue
between Muse and Poet, the terrain upon which the battle between the
representatives of 'a new dawn' and the decaying forces of the past
will unfold.

The poet's entire being 'throbs with budding song'. Propelled 'by an
urge to battle the storms' he wants to unveil 'the secrets of Being.'
He desires 'to bind his heart to the heart of the sea/to immerse its
infinity within his own.' To this end he appeals for the Muse's
lyre. This is not however just an individual adventure. The lyre will
serve to bind the poet's 'lips to the fiery and loving lips of the
people' in 'a kiss as intense and infinite as any at the side of the
sea.' The metaphor may be clumsy but not the meaning. In searching for
the 'secrets of Being' the poet will commune not with the deity but
with the common people. Stressing this sense is an image that, though
resonant with religious symbolism, is manifestly political and even
socialist - the poet will 'baptise' the lyre 'in the basin of a
martyred Brotherhood'.

The Muse however seeks to temper such enthusiasm, conscious of its
enormous social and political significance and its consequence for the
poet. Though a lyre 'fashioned to the poet's desires' is ready its
'strings are plucked from orphans' curls'. Its 'song will be an ever
restless/tracking of bitter oppression.' It is true that, albeit
'covered by a pauper's cloak', the lyre will 'sparkle with a new
dawn'. But it is precisely this that will be greeted with hostility by
the powers that be. The 'fiery brightness of its light' will 'not
please many'. For heralding this 'new dawn' the poet 'will be
dismissed with disdain' by his 'very own'. Ominously the Muse cautions
disaster and even defeat. The lyre is 'an instrument that wounds/it
is fire/it is your future' and 'your coffin'.

Undeterred the poet responds 'Let it be, pass it over!' He is stubborn.
He cannot, will not, remain silent. He will express his rage against
all that is cruel and unjust. He will dream of the possibility of an
alternative to corrupted human relations. Reflecting the tensions
prevalent in the volume, 'To the Muse' does have religious and mystical
reference points, but these are entirely secondary or merely
perfunctory in contrast with the spirited secular 'declaration of
social intent'.

Some of the best poems thereafter carve out different dimensions of
individual and social experience and become a radical critique and a
protest against injustice. Here analysis and prescription are
expounded in poetry framed by the most precise language and by
impossibly versatile, crisp, startling and frequently astonishing
images and metaphors. His message is wrought of rigorous reason and
logic, but it is communicated in the style of painter and architect.
Varoujean himself articulates a consciousness of the unity and
'equality between colour and thought' in artistic work citing
Shakespeare and Victor Hugo as examples. (SW p504)

As a result with their vivid colour, their context and their
perspective, Varoujean's best poems suggest a classical oil painting,
a Titian or Carvaggio. These spring forth into an almost
three-dimensional existence offering inexhaustible angles for
observation and meditation. Reading them is sometimes akin to
appreciating a fine sculpture or an architectural monument, but one
that is at the same time of multi-coloured marble and mobile too. The
longer poems are enhanced by the incorporation of metaphor and image
into an overall dramatic and narrative structure that remains almost
always taut and finely balanced with rarely a redundant passage. It is
through such artistry that Varoujean's philosophic assumptions and
social vision acquire authentic and profound poetic universality.

In 'He Is Ill' (p51) the description of the last days of a migrant
labourer is haunting. But this is also a poem about the unity of
individual and collective torn asunder by social malignancy, in this
case that of forced migrant labour. In Istanbul, far from the security
of family and community the sick labourer is cooped up in a slum
tenement whose 'dampness drop by drop drains his body to its grave'.
He lies lonely and abandoned with no network of support and
solidarity. His only companions are 'intimate friends created in
moments of delirium-and the insects on his wall'. He is young yet
'arms created for labour' to sustain life and family are now reduced
to 'fighting to fend off death.'

The migrant labourer's impending death is not just an individual
tragedy. His death will dash the dearest hopes of 'parents and bride'
back home in Van, once part of historical Armenia, both 'in need of
bread' and 'yearning for his return.' His bride 'secure in the
promises of hope' waits impatiently harbouring 'the urges of a kiss'
But instead a traveller will soon return to tell 'that he was buried
with one eye open.' Weaving in the experiences of delirium in illness,
the pain of loneliness, moments of love, beauty and desire 'He Is Ill'
is also a poem of human mortality, personal loss, exile and love

Like all great thinkers Varoujean grasped that life cannot be lived by
bread alone. So beyond material poverty and social exploitation 'To
the Fish in the Pond' (p53) that protests against man's abuse of other
living things is also a metaphor for the caging of the human spirit
and the chaining of intellectual and imaginative flight. 'Like a
thinker' the fish 'roams the narrow waters' of a tiny pond whose
'limits have been defined' by 'man's craft'. No more 'shall you wander
the world of infinite blue' where 'embracing freedom and joy' you
'once vanquished its mighty waves and dangers with disdain.' Man is
the architect of this prison, 'selfish man who amuses himself gazing
at the silver bubbles you create'. He is the 'tyrant of the globe'
'willing to sacrifice all' to 'his pleasure and his glory'.

This human abuse of nature is but the other side of his abuse of his
fellow man. The fish pond is a symbol of the prison he has made for
himself. 'My life is exactly as is yours'. In vain does the poet
'strive high' in search of 'a world where freedom reigns' and with it
'an undeceiving goodness.' All around him are those 'wretched
restraining forces that crush the spirit and its flight.' In human
society 'life and the cemetery extend a hand to each other.' There is
here a grimness and pessimism that seems to belie Zohrab's testimony
to Varoujean's healthy optimism. It is real pessimism. But it is

The crystal clear depiction of social and spiritual anguish in
'Trembling' is not matched by an equally cogent vision of release.
Notions of universal solidarity and spiritual fulfilment that frame a
conception of emancipation are often inchoate, one sided or tainted by
an impotent mysticism. In many instances the agency of release is not
the realisation of individual or collective potential that is affirmed
in the volume's philosophical premises. Instead a powerless subject
becomes the object of others' charity. This limit will be overcome
later. But in 'Bless Me Father' (p22) there is a philosophically
significant suggestion of the possibility of 'undeceiving goodness' in
human relations, of a genuine universal solidarity manifested in
filial and fatherly loyalty that is born of the very cycle of
procreation and life.

'With new blood flooding his veins' the young man sets out 'to labour,
to challenge and to live' - but at no cost to his father. An
unbreakable bond is at the very foundation of both their lives. 'My
blood has come from your sweat/I am the bud of your sad weariness'.
When 'your spirit, like a sturdy oak, braved the storm/I grew easy and
silent in its shade.' So even as he sets out on his supremely
individual journey he cannot forget his obligation to his father.
'Enough. you have laboured and borne. It is time now that your rest
and I take over.' It is upon such unsullied relations of human
solidarity that his life of daring, flight and challenge will be

In this poem, as in others, image and metaphor are more than
delighting representations of ideas or things. They communicate
deeper shades of meaning. In 'Bless Me Father' they hint at the love,
devotion and loyalty in the father-son relation as a fundamental
feature of human relations that is moreover an elemental, natural
process beyond consciousness and prior to any thought or calculation.
The sturdy oak braves the storm by virtue of its existence and nothing
more. So does the father protect the son. But the son can also not do
otherwise. The image of the father's sweat transformed into the son's
life-blood, an image steeped in Christian religious symbolism, again
suggests a process beyond human calculation. Thus metaphor and image
suggest the imminent possibility of social solidarity manifested in
such an essential condition of our existence as the parent-child


For a full measure of Varoujean's grandeur one must turn to his
second, third and fourth volumes - 'The Heart of the Nation', 'Pagan
Songs', 'The Song of Bread' - as well as to a volume's worth of poems
not included by him in any collection. Here the intellectual and
philosophical grasp is more profound and comprehensive and the poetic
treatment more thorough and magical. These volumes embrace more
explicitly the Armenian experience of national liberation struggle and
the international struggle for justice and equality. They sing to the
cycle of human labour that eternally produces and reproduces life
itself. They reach out to recover the ancient gods of classical
Armenia and press them into the service of the present. They celebrate
human pleasure and fulfilment and pay homage to the satisfaction of
emotions and the senses. The best of these later poems in their
novelty, originality and depth, defy all categorisation, each so rich
that they demand separate and independent commentary.

To them 'Trembling' is a worthy preface. With his passionate sense of
mission articulated in perceptive thought and precise language he
already reveals an imposing maturity. His authoritative confidence
transforms listener and reader into an eager, attentive audience for
the enunciation of a radical humanist outlook that developed into an
enduring foundation for his entire work.

Varoujean, his mind and spirit still fluent with budding visions and
new projects, was murdered at 31 in 1915. One cannot but be driven to
think upon the significance of the date of 1915 in commentaries on
modern Armenian literature. This date raises a question beyond the
politics of the Armenian Genocide recognition. It marks the end of the
lives of so many talented novelists, poets and writers. Even those
uninformed about the Genocide cannot fail to note that in 1915 an
abrupt and sudden silencing of a vast wave of talent, creativity and
energy: Rouben Sevak (1885-1915), Siamanto (1878-1915), Yeroukhan
(1870-1915), Rouben Zartarian (1874-1915), Hrant (1859-1915),
Tlgadintzi (1860-1915), Krikor Zohrab (1861-1915). One senses here a
cataclysm, a tragedy, a terrible ending.

Pity the reader or writer who does not care to investigate further.
The vine of culture and creativity that was cut down, so brutally and
prematurely in 1915 embodied and continues to embody some of the
finest hopes and dreams of humanity. To remain wilfully ignorant of
the reasons for such tragedies in human history puts one beyond any
honest or authentic appreciation of literature and art. Literature and
art does not tolerate murder and annihilation.

[Read Part Two.]

Eddie Arnavoudian holds degrees in history and politics from
Manchester, England, and is Groong's commentator-in-residence on
Armenian literature. His works on literary and political issues
have also appeared in Harach in Paris, Nairi in Beirut and Open
Letter in Los Angeles.

#3 Arpa



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Posted 26 December 2005 - 04:15 PM

I just noticed that we have posted many poems by certain authors under various topics, even if they may have been in the general area of literature.
Please go to Lietreature- Daniel Varuzhan.

Edited by Arpa, 26 December 2005 - 06:23 PM.

#4 Arpa



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Posted 26 December 2005 - 06:16 PM

Forgive me agian.
I just had a change of heart.
I noticed that that other thread had used he French variant of the author's name I decided to create a new thread dedicated to our immortal dean of poetry.
I have moved that poem here and I will remove it from the other thread.
Hoping to add more of his immortal masterpieces, here it is.

From Daniel Varuzhan’s collection ;

Flowers of Golgotha.


Յաղթանակի գիշերն է այս տօնական.-
Հա`րս, եղ լեցուր ճըրագին:
Պիտի դառնայ կռիւէն տըղաս յաղթական.-
Հա`րս քիթը ա`ռ պատրոյգին:

Սայլ մը կեցաւ դըռան առջեւ, հորին քով.-
Հա`րս, վառէ` լոյսը ճրագին:
Տըղաս կու գայ ճակատն հըպարտ դափնիով.-
Հա`րս, բե`ր ճրագը շեմին:

Բայց… սայլին վրայ արիւն? եւ սուգ? բեռցեր են…
Հա`րս, ճրագդ ասդի`ն երկարէ:
Հերոս տըղաս հոն զաննուա~ծ է սըրտէն.-
Ա~խ, հարս, ճըրագըդ մարէ~…

Arkayts Chrag
by Daniel Varuzhan

Haghthanaki gisher e ays tonakan,
Hars, yegh letsur chragin.
Piti darna tghas kriven haghthakan,
Hars, qitn ar patruygin.

Sayl m@ ketsav dran arjev, horin qov,
Hars, vareh luys@ chragin.
Tghas kou ga chakatn hpart dapniov,
Hars, ber chrarg@ shemin.

Bayts... saylin vra aryun? ev soug? bertser en...
Hars, chrag@t asdin erkareh.
Heros tghas hon zarnvadz e srten,
Akh! Hars, chrag@d mareh...

The Flickering Candle
By Daiel Varuzhan
(Here "candle" is a literal translation of kandegh which otherwise would have been translated as "lamp"/chrag").

This is the night of festive victory,
Dear bride, fill the lamp with oil.
My son triumphant returns from war,
Dear bride, trim the candle's wick.

Hark! A cart stopped at the door, near the well,
Dear hars, light the candle now,
My son is home with laurels at his brow,
Dear bride, bring it to the thershold.

But! Is the cart laden with blood and lament?
Dear bride, bring your light closer.
My hero son is hit at the heart,
Akh! Bride, blow the candle off....!

Edited by Arpa, 26 December 2005 - 06:25 PM.

#5 Arpa



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Posted 10 January 2006 - 01:02 PM

That is wonderful Anahid!
How did you know?
I could convert that to unicode legible to this audience when I decided to type it all from scratch.
I had been fighting with the keyboard all morning. I had almost completed it ... and ... yours truly klutz... I lost it all.
Thank you.
Now, with your permisiion I would like to trascribe this in the "Mythology" Site under Anahit.
Also please allow me to make some slihght adjustments as some of the spelling above id "soviet style" like "Taghvadz, Aryoun թաղուած, արիւն" etc.

Edited by Arpa, 10 January 2006 - 01:06 PM.

#6 Takoush



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Posted 10 January 2006 - 01:18 PM

QUOTE (Arpa @ Jan 10 2006, 02:02 PM)
That is wonderful Anahid!
How did you know?
I could convert that to unicode legible to this audience when I decided to type it all from scratch.
I had been fighting with the keyboard all morning. I had almost completed it ... and ... yours truly klutz... I lost it all.
Thank you.
Now, with your permisiion I would like to trascribe this in the "Mythology" Site under Anahit.
Also please allow me to make some slihght adjustments as some of the spelling above id "soviet style" like "Taghvadz, Aryoun թաղուած, արիւն" etc.

You are welcomed. It was my pleasure; don't you know I adore poetry too? tongue.gif

Be my guest Arpa, I changed very few words only from Eastern to Western Armenian dialect; but you can change it to your liking, no problem.

Enjoy our wonderful Varoujan. smile.gif

I know you like our Chasdvadznerou Armenian times more than anything else. Well I like it too as this is the Navasartyan era. Our wonderful times and our wonderful era. The true essence of our Armenianism. smile.gif

Edited by Anahid Takouhi, 10 January 2006 - 01:32 PM.

#7 Takoush



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Posted 15 January 2006 - 07:59 PM


Nice poetry; I have company now and I can't go into it that much, but there is one word I didn't understand I'll ask you about it tomorrow, OK?

You did a great job writing/typing it now of Varoujan.

A lot of work, I should know, right? It's great.


P.S. The word is " yerpoudzin", "yerpoudzin mech gatnatouyr"

Edited by Anahid Takouhi, 15 January 2006 - 09:02 PM.

#8 Arpa



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Posted 16 January 2006 - 07:31 AM

QUOTE (Anahid Takouhi @ Jan 16 2006, 01:59 AM)
Nice poetry;.... but there is one word I didn't understand I'll ask you about it tomorrow,
P.S. The word is " yerpoudzin", "yerpoudzin mech gatnatouyr"

Yerboudz/երբուծ is chest muscle, pectoral, (անասունի) կուրծքի միս. There is more, I will expand. Let's go to "language".

#9 Takoush



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Posted 17 January 2006 - 06:27 AM


Ահա քեզ այս գեղեցիկ Վահագնի ոտանավորի մեկնաբանութիւնը:

Վարուժան նախ կ՚սկսի իր գրութիւնը ցուլով. Ան յաճախ գիւղը այնքան ճշգրտորէն եւ գեղեցկորէն կը նկարագրէ, անյաւատալի եւ բայց նաեւ դիւթական: Եւ յետոյ կովն ու ցուլը գիւղացիին պարգեւներն են անյապաղ: Ուրեմն Վարուժան այդ ձեւով կ՚անմահանայ իր այդ գիւղը լիովին նկարագրելով: Զոր օրինակ ան կը նկարագրէ նաեւ գիւղացիին նուիրական հողը; —Հացեաց Դրախտի աղբիւրին մէչ նուիրական: Երբ կը հեւայ իր հըզօր շունչն առչեւէդ Կը վանե հողն ու ավազները գետնէն, Եվ կուգա սեւ ռունգերեն հոտը ամբողչ Դաշտային թաց կանանչին:— Ապա գիւղացին Վահագն Աստծոյ կ՚ ընծայէ իր լաւագոյնը որն է իր պարարտ ու առողչ ցուլը: Ի՜ նչ գեղեցիկ նկարագրութիւն:

Վարուժան նաեւ անշուշտ հպարտ է Մեծն Տիգրանով, ան կ՚ըսէ; —Ո՜ վ Տիգրանի սերմին մէչ Դու մարդացած Արեգակ,— Յետոյ ան մէկ առ մէկ, մաս առ մաս կը նուիրէ մէն մի կենդանիին մարմնի մասերը; —Ա՛ ռ. արիւնոտ ասոնք կողերն են զոհիս. Ցըռուկն է այս, ասոնք ճարպոտ զիստերն են, Ահա ըղեղն որ ուղղեց բնա՛ զդն ու շընչեց Եղչիւրներուն խեռութիւն, Ահա չերմ սիրտն որ տակավին կը սըրսաբայ, Եւ իր լեղին զոր ազդրին վրա կը դընեմ Հոյսով մ՚որ ան պիտ՛ տոչորի ամբողչ. ա՛ ռ:—

վարուժան Կը շարունակէ գիւղացիին բերնով ու կ՚ ըսէ; —Օ՜ վ վեհ, զո՛ հ ես, տըւի քեզ ի՛ նչ որ կար խըրճիթիս մէչ եւ հոգիիս, քեզ տըւի—; Հոս Վարուժան մէչբերում կ՚ ընէ մեր հինավուրց եւ անպատկառ թշնամիին; Թուռքին եւ կ՚ըսէ; —Թշամին ի՛ նչ որ մոռացած էր այս օրվան Այրիացած Հաշտիշատիդ մէչ ամայ:—

Վարուժան հիմայ կը նկարագրէ Վահագնի ուժն ու իր "Հարդգողի ճանապարհը" յետեւեալ ցեւով; —ՈՒժի՜ ն համար, կրոնքի՜ ն համար բազուկիդ, Որով դու օր մը պատռեցիր բերաններ Վիշապներու, երկընքին մէչ սըբռեցիր Զերդ արեւու հունտեր, աստղերն Յարդգողին.— Վարուժան Վահագնի ուժն ու բռունցքը կ՚երգէ ու կը նկարագկրէ շատ գեղեցկօրէն յետեւեալ ձեւով; —Ուժի՜ ն համար որ կը լեցնէ ստինքներ, կ՛ օրօրէ մեր օր րանն, ու մեզ, մահէն վերչ, Մինչեւ աստղերը կը տանի, ու մինչեւ Երկրորդ կեանքի մ՚արարչագործ պատճառին, Որ կը կանգնէ Ազգ մ՚ինչպէս խումբ մ՚ առիւծի, Բազուկդ անոր բազուկին մեչ կ՜ հեղու,—

Եւ ուրեմն Վարուժան կը շարունակէ երգել մեր անմահական Հայ ազգի արի արանց եւ հանճար էութիւնը շարունակելով եւ այսպէս ըսելով; —Եւ զերթ հրեղէն վարազահաւ իր լուսեղ Թըռիչքներում ամբոբման տակ կը թըխսէ Մեր մայրերուն ծոցին մէչ Դիւցազուննե՜ ր, հանճարնե՜ ր, Այդ սուրբ Ուժին համար կ՜ ըսեմ որուն դու Իմացական աղբերակն ես յորդահոս, Օ՜վ դու Վահագն, ահա քեզի կարկառած Բազուկներս իմ արիւնոտ Կ՚աղօթ՛ե՜ մ ես... կ՚աղօթ՛ե՜ մ...

Edited by Anahid Takouhi, 17 January 2006 - 06:35 AM.

#10 Arpa



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Posted 30 December 2006 - 06:10 AM

Դանիել Վարուժան
Հացին Երգը

(Աստվածամոր սեղանին)

Քեզ կը բերեմ, Մա՛յր, հունձքերուս նախընծան:
Զոհագործե՛ սեղանիդ վրա` ուր, դարե՜ր,
Փեթակներուս մեղրամոմերը դեղձան
Լույս ու արցունք են հոսեր:

Դո՛ւն, սուրբ պաշտպան հայրենական հողերուս`
Որոնց տըվիր անմահությունը դրախտի.
Ծիլը ծաղիկ ըրիր, հույսը` Արշալույս,
Որ խըրճիթիս կը ժըպտի:

Դո՛ւն, Խաչաբուռն այս, զոր իմ ձեռքով եմ հյուսեր,
Ընդունե՛, Մա՜յր: Բյուր հասկերուս մեջ ասոնք
Կը նազեին կույսերու պես շիկահեր,
Արևահե՛ղց և ատո՛ք:

Գերանդիիս տակ, գըլուխնին դեռ ցողով,
Լուսնեն հնձված ճառագայթի պես` ինկա՜ն:
Ոչ մի արտույտ քանդեր է իր կըտուցով`
Անոնց շարքերը լըման:

Ես հյուսեցի զանոնք, գիսակ առ գիսակ,
Տալով խաչին ձևը Որդվույդ կարեվեր`
Որուն արյունն, ամեն Զատկի, սո՜ւրբ կըրակ,
Մեր ակոսներն են խըմեր:

Իր հույսերուս, իղձերուս հետ հյուսեցի:
Անոնց մեջ է հույզն արտին, հուրն արևուն,
Խոփին փայլակն ու թևիս թափն առնացի,
Պաղատանքն իմ թոռներուն:

Մա՛յր, Խաչաբուռն այս օրհնե՜. և տուր արտերուս
Ամառն` ոսկի, ինչպես գարունը` մարգրիտ.
Որքան ամբարքըս լի ըլլան` ջահեր լույս
Պիտի տան խորանիդ:

Ըրե այնպես` որ – նման հի՜ն օրերուն–
Երբ դաշտերե դաշտ ժուռ գալու դուն ելլես`
Փուշեր չըգա՜ն ոտքերուդ տակ` այլ սարսռուն
Կակաչներ` մեր սըրտին պես:

#11 Takoush



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Posted 13 February 2007 - 10:55 AM


Դանիել Վարուժան

Քու մարմարեա հպարտ վիզդ է՝ որ այսօր
Դուրս կարկառված կործանումէն դարերուն՝
Իբրեւ շուշան կամ նունուֆար մը աղվոր
Կ՛իշխէ բոլոր մեծ Սրտերուն վրա խոհուն:

Աչքերուդ մէչ ամբողչ լույսը կը ցոլա
Հելլենական մըշտապայծառ երկնքին,
Ցայտեց հոգի մ՚այդ բիբերէդ մարմարեա՝
Երբոր ինկան մուրճին ներքեւ հանճարին:

Արցանէ՛դ իսկ գորով ու կեանք կը բխի՝
Կարծես ծնած ըլլայիր նոր՝ ծովէն գեչ,
Կարծես վիհին լույս կաթիլները աղի
Դեռ շողային այտերուդ զույգ բոսին մէչ:

Բայց քու թեւերդ ո՞ւր մնացին, ով Աստղիկ.
Խորը ծովո՞ւն՝ Թէ տարերուն՝ ընկղմած
Դեռ կ՚որոնեն սիրո մարգրիտն ըզմայլիկ՝
Ճակտին համար մեր Աշխարհին զառամած:

Edited by Anahid Takouhi, 13 February 2007 - 10:55 AM.

#12 Takoush



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Posted 23 March 2007 - 04:48 PM



Գարնանամուտ երեկոյ մ՚իր պալատին մէչ մարմար՝
Բակուր, Սիւնեաց Նահապետ, շքեղ հանդէս մը կու տար,
Երբ ուղեւոր մը յանկարծ մըրըրկարշաւ կը հասնի
Լուսնկաբայլ ճամբայէն՝ մեծ դըրան քով արքունի:
Ձին կը հեւայ ու բերնին բըրբուրն՝ հողմէն միշտ խլուած՝
Կը թրչէ թամբն համօրէն, ասպանդակներն ոսկեմած:
Հեռուներէն ան կու գայ. զայն կը մատնէ թէ՛ բոշին,
Որ դիզուեր է խաւերուն մէչ թիկնոցի թաւիշին,
Թէ՛ նժոյգին վըրընչիւնն. աստեղացունց մաքրութեամբ՝
Որ կը խնդրէ ախոռին գոլուտ հանգիստը անթամբ:
Բակուր այդ հիւրն իր անձէն եւ անունէն կը ճանչնայ.
Բագրատունին Տրդատն է, հզօր իշխան, ու բեսայ
Տիրան հայոց արքային, որ կը բախչի Մարաստան:
Կը բախչի ան՝ զի կինն իր՝ Տիրանի դուստրն աննման,
Գանակոծեր էր խստիւ, պալատէն դուրս արտաքսեր,
Խուզելով, իբր անարգանք, անոր խարտեաշ գանգուրներ:
— «Տրդա՛տ, կ՚ըսէ Նահապետն, այս գիշեր քուկդ է իմ տուն.
Մարաց աշխարհն է հեռու եւ դու անշուշտ պարտասուն.
Մտի՛ր սրահը տօնին, թող իրարու դէմ բըշրին
Մեր բաժակներն, ու մեր սէրը մկրտէ թող գինին»:

Եւ կոչունքի կը բազմի Բագրատունին վտարանդի,
Աչ կողմը ճիշդ Բակուրին՝ որ իր կարգին կը նստի
Գահի մը վրայ՝ որուն լայն թիկնատեղն է քանդակուած
Բագոսը՝ եզ մ՚որթերով պսակելու զբաղած:
Սեղանին շուրչը արդէն մեծամեծներն հայկազուն
դէմ յանդիման բազմեր են՝ բայց ո՛չ իրենց մեծանուն
Աստիճանին համեմատ, այլ սուրերու մեծութեան.
Հո՛ն են ճորտերը Սիւնեաց գաւառներուն երկտասան,
Լերան ազատ զաւակներ, միշտ զրահի մէչ կուրծքերնին՝
Որոնք հզօր կումբի պէս, չահերուն տակ կը բայլին:
Հոն կան նաեւ բդեշխներ, ազատանին քաչարի,
Որ կը պատմեն թէ ի՛նչպէս կ՚որսան վարազը վայրի,
Ազնըւատոհմ սեպուհներ ոսկեճարմանդ խլաներով,
Գինւոյ բաժակ ի ձեռին կը ծիծաղին կէս գինով:

Պալատին մէչ ծով մը կայ ծիծաղներու եւ լոյսի՝
Որ գաղչօրէն ծուբ առ ծուբ դռներէն դուրս կը հոսի:
Կոչնականները զարմիկ պատերն ի վար կախեր են
Որսի գալար շեբորներն ու վահաններն ոսկեղէն.
Եւ նիզակները, դեռ թաց վարազներու արիւնով,
Տըրցակ տըրցակ կը հանգչին հսկայաբեղկ դըրան քով:
Լայնակոնք սրահը քսան սիւներով է կառուցուած՝
Որոնց վրայ կը շողան քսան չահեր դէմ դիմաց:
Եւ այն քսան սիւներուն մէչէն քսան գերիներ
Կը բերեն թանկ սաներու վրայ՝ խորոված երէներ՝
Որոնց շոգին քմպարար կը բարձրանայ ոլորուն:
Սպասներն ալ սեղանին մեծարժէք են, եւ կարծես
Արծաթազօծ դըգալներն ու դանակները նոյնպէս
Բողբողումին տակ լոյսին բայլակներ են աղմըկոտ:
Ծաղկակալներ են դրուած երկայնքն ի վեր սեղանին,
Որոնցմէ եղկ բուրումներ շուրչը արբշիռ կը սբռեն.
Ծաղիկներուն ընդմէչէն, քրքիչներուն հետ թրթռուն,
Կը նշմարուին սպիտակ ակռաներն յոյր ճորտերուն.
Եւ գինիին թանձր հոտն են խահերուն գոլորշին
Վեր բարձրացած՝ կը սքօղեն կատաղութիւնն այդ ճաշին:
Կու գայ համեղ գերերին՝ որով Սիւնիքն է առատ,
Զոր եբեր են տատրակի սրտիկներով անարատ:
— «Աղաւնիի սիրտ ուտենք, կը գոչէ ճորտը Բալի,
Որ ունենանք վագրի լեարդ...»

#13 Johannes



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Posted 18 May 2007 - 09:01 AM

Դանիէլ Վարուժանն սպաննող ազգի արմատը չորանայ...

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