“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.

Alone

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.

“Nameless” by Misak Metsarents

Misak Metsarents (1886-1908) was a Western Armenian neo-romantic poet. This is my translation of “Nameless” from Armenian to English.

Nameless

Wild flower, what’s your name?
Tell me! Sitting in the shade of a fence
Made of briars and green leaves,
Wild flower, what’s your name?

White, milky, sappy
Fragrant flower, what’s your name?
Tell me! Don’t you quiver a little
When the sweet breeze blows?

Proud flower! What’s the name
Of the spirit who passed by you,
Leaving behind waves
Of humbleness and black amber?

Do you know, flower, the name
Of the shiver brought by the breeze,
And the name of the voice calling me?

“The New Year” by Misak Metsarents

Misak Metsarents (1886-1908) was a Western Armenian neo-romantic poet. This is my translation of “The New Year” from Armenian to English.

The New Year

Tonight, the well-dressed and adorned new year
Waits for the morning light with great zeal;
Spirits forever stole the year
From our embrace the familiar voices of the old one.

The new year’s gift, the bright moonlight
Is draped on all the mountains of the village;
The songs of the old, the cries of the young
echo erratically with strong, discernible timbres.

A series of desires gripping the heart
Shake it fiercely with fiery emotions;
Ignited by these unquenchable emotions,
The burning hearts pound with longing.

In the silence of the night’s final moments
The sounds and illuminations slowly fade;
And wearing the fine linen made of the blue arch
The well-dressed new year enters the decorated world.