Hovhannes Tumanyan was an Armenian author, public activist who is considered by many to be the national poet of Armenia. His work was mostly written in tragic form, often centering on the harsh lives of villagers in the Lori region.
Hovhannes Tumanyan was born in February 19, 1869 in the village of Dsegh, which was part of the Tiflis Governorate of the Russian Empire, and now is located in Lori Province of Armenia. His father was an offspring of an Armenian princely family of Tumanyan (branch of the house of Mamikonian) and the village's priest and his mother an avid storyteller with a particular interest in fables, Tumanyan had incorporated many of the themes... more »
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Hovhannes Toumanian Poems
The Crane has lost his way across the heaven, From yonder stormy cloud I hear him cry, A traveller a'er an unknown pathway driven,
Beside the laughing lake of Van A little hamlet lies; Each night into the waves a man Leaps under darkened skies.
In the Armenian Mountains
The way was heavy and the night was dark, And yet we survived Both sorrow and gloom. Through the ages we go and gaze at the stark
The high-throned Abul and Metin mountains Back-to-back in proud silence stand, Holding high on their mighty shoulders Parvana—a beautiful ancient land.
The Capture of Fort Temuk
Come hither, poor and gentle folk, Lend an ear and listen well. A wandering bard from distant parts, A wondrous tale will I tell.
The Dog and the Cat
Once there lived a pussy cat, Who was very sleek and fat. As for his trade, Warm things he made:
When Some Day
Sweet comrade, when you come some day To gaze upon my tomb, And scattered all around it see Bright flowers in freshest bloom,
The Ancient Blessing
'Neath a hazel's green, gathered in a ring Sat the men of age, who had known life's sting. They sat them around, Stooped on the ground,
It started up, our true Chalak, Raced across the mountain flank, On and on through the darkened wood With my bold brother in hot pursuit.
Before A Painting By Ayvasovsky
Rising from ocean, billows uncontrolled, With heavy flux and reflux, beating high,
Armenian grief is a sea, A fathomless, boundless main. In that dark expanse drifts my soul, Mournful, in mortal pain.
David of Sasun
Lion-Mher of fabled glory For forty years at Sassoun reigned; He reigned with might, and in his day No flocks made flight o’er Sassoun's steeps.
Rest in Peace
And I stood up, so that In keeping with our ancestral laws, I may read a last prayer On the hapless victims of my nation,
The Armenian Grief
The Armenian grief is a shoreless sea, An enormous abyss of water; My soul swims mournfully On this huge and black expanse.
Comments about Hovhannes Toumanian
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The Crane has lost his way across the heaven,
From yonder stormy cloud I hear him cry,
A traveller a'er an unknown pathway driven,
In a cold world unheeded he doth fly.
Ah, whither leads this pathway long and dark,
My God, where ends it, thus with fears obsessed?
When shall night end this day's last glimmering spark?
Where shall my weary feet to-night find rest?
Farewell, beloved bird, where'er thou roam
Spring shall return and bring thee back once more,
With thy sweet mate and young ones, to thy home
Thy last year's nest upon the sycamore. ...