“Alone” by Yeghia Demirjibashian

Yeghia Demirjibashian (1851-1908) was an Armenian writer, poet, and philosopher. This is my translation of “Alone” from Armenian to English.


The years that are behind me,
With their bitter memories of happiness,
Torment me.
The years that are ahead of me,
With their horrible vistas of madness,
Petrify me.

The old years took everything!
They took everything with them.
The new years will bring me nothing!
They’ll bring new perplexities to my mind,
New disappointments to my heart,
And new mists to my soul.
Bearing bad news, they always come in a hurry,
And they leave ever so slowly.

I’m burdened with the passing
Of new years, which are already old now.
The beds were covered, one by one;
The plates were removed, one by one;
And the voices faded, one by one.
And there’s only one bed in my home now,
And one plate on the dining table,
And not even an echo of a lively voice.

I eat my food, and my food eats me.
I go from room to room, while ghosts
wander in the rooms of my head.
And on the walls that are as white as shrouds,
The shadows of my loved ones and the ghosts
Of my most cherished years wander.
The merciless good old years
Keep bringing forth radiant scenes of happiness
now lost.
And the years that are to come
fill my soul with black,
black trembling.

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