The opening stanza to one of my favorite poems…

Այգուն, այգուն առուին լացող
Յանկերգն, ու ծար, ու ծիլ, ու ցօղ,
Ու արտոյտն ալ վեր խոյացող
«Սիրէ՝» կ՚ըսին…։

Ռուբեն Սեւակ, 1909

The flowing waters of the creek
through the orchard,
The trees, the fresh blossoms, the morning dew,
The nightingale – they all sing out –
“Love” they say.

Roupen Sevag, 1909


These Eyes – Roupen Sevag

These eyes

These eyes, they take me to the ocean depths,
Eyes that sing, eyes that cry,
Bright flowers, ever-deep wounds,
Eyes that live, eyes that have died,
A gentle blue, your eyes cry out to me.

Your sly glance cradles me,
Along the edge of the forgotten path,
That leads to a path of flowers untrampled,
You are shadowless, a cool orchard,
Your sly glance cradles me.

But within these eyes – the flames of feverish sin,
Calling me your altar of passion,
Burning, smouldering – a temple of Sin,
Eyes that burn, that poison, that consume,
Furious, fire-laden – damning.

These tear-filled eyes – horrid, melancholic,
Staring across the dark abyss,
Like a leaf tossed around by the incessant autumn wind,
You know the path,
Tear-filled eyes – horrid, melancholic.

And now – dreaming within a melancholic haze,
As lovely as a tepid summer’s night,
Your love-laden eyes call out – unseen, alone.
You walk, you seek an embrace along the dark corridor,
Your loving eyes – lost within a melancholic haze.

And you – a fire without end,
Eyes that love, eyes that have died,
Come to the deepest recesses of my soul,
And shed but one tear…

Eyes that love,
eyes that have died…

Roupen Sevag – undated


Now, this is Sevag’s original version.  You’ll note many subtle changes, most notably an occasional shift from second to third person when describing these eyes.  There are some stanzas where I let Sevag’s original verses serve as more of an inspiration than a direct one-to-one linguistic mapping.  Enjoy !!

Roupen Sevag's These EyesArmenian poetry, Armenia, poem, old poetry, new translation, literature, english translation, armenian translation

Roupen Sevag’s These Eyes




Hello Readers !!!

The name of the site speaks for itself. Here, you will find my own personal translations of currently untranslated works of Armenian Poetry. I will start off with my favourite poet – Roupen Sevag. [Here is a link to his Wikipedia page.] His blending of Romantic ideals of nature with his uniquely realist worldview have struck a chord with me. I reckon that my first 50 posts or so will be translations of Sevag poems.

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If there are any poems that you would like translated, please do not hesitate to contact me. Just drop a comment below!