I was alone with my pure-winged dream in the valleys my sires had trod;
My steps were light as the fair gazelle’s, and my heart with joy was thrilled;
I ran, all drunk with the deep blue sky, with the light of the glorious days;
Mine eyes were filled with gold and hopes, my soul with the gods was filled.
Basket on basket, the Summer rich presented her fruit to me
From my garden’s trees – each kind of fruit that to our clime belongs;
And then from a willow’s body slim, melodious, beautiful,
A branch for my magic flute I cut in silence, to make my songs.
I sang; and the brook all diamond bright, and the birds of my ancient home,
And the music pure from heavenly wells that fills the nights and days,
And the gentle breezes and airs of dawn, like my sister’s soft embrace,
United their voices sweet with mine, and joined in my joyous lays.
To-night in a dream, sweet flute, once more I took you in my hand;
You felt to my lips like a kiss – a kiss from the days of long ago.
But when those memories of old revived, then straightway failed my breath,
And instead of songs, my tears began drop after drop to flow.
Translated by Alice Stone Blackwell
Siamanto was an Armenian poet, killed in the literary purge during the Armenian Genocide. My sadness after being forced to leave the Caucasus didn’t match the magnitude of his loss of his loved ones. But I’ve learned a lot from the Armenian. A lot on how to hope and to be content.
The past loss and grief on the land of the Hayk, described in the poem, would later shape her present and her future. So what’s of Armenia now? Stay tune for Made in Armenia next week.