April 24

Armenouhi Der Avedisian Basmajian (1898-1938) survived the Armenian Genocide but later died of disease at the age of 39. She never knew she was quite the poet when she wrote this at the age of 22:

Viravor Daree

Mayrig ays kisher

Toon mtnshaghin

Aghpyour chkatsir

Luys vosgi chooren

Nor loosakhpyuren

Goojov chi perir

Aghchigus katsi

Khoong mom varetsi

Gatil choor chi gar

Tsamker er aguh.

Toors nayir mayrig

Tsuyn kami mrrig

Inchbes g’arshaven

Ayt o?v e goo lay

Hoveroon mechen, drdoom yerkelov

Ayt hovn e grgin

Dzovn e artsoonkin

Ayt khotsn e verkin

Potsn e areevnin

Des mer yertikin

Tsoobkim tsayrin

Ardziv muh tarrer

Des ir gdootsin

Gatil muh areevn

Gatets mer semin

I?nchoo areevn gatets
mer tran semin
A’kh hayrut zargin!
Kirgus yego’d, hokeeag…



Wounded Year (Translated by Nairi Hakhverdi)

Mother, at dusk,

You did not

Go to the spring.
You did not bring
In a jug
The limpid gold water
From the clear new spring.

My daughter, I went
To light incense and candles,
But there wasn’t a drop of water.
The spring had dried up.

Look outside, Mother,
How the snow, wind, and storm
Are bursting in!
Who is that crying,
Dolefully singing, in the wind?

It’s that cool breeze again,
It’s the sea of the teardrop,
It’s the stab of the wound,
It’s the fire of the blood.

Look up at our skylight.
An eagle perches
On the edge of the roof.
Look, from its beak,
A drop of blood
Fell on our doorstep.

Why did a drop of blood
Fall on our doorstep?
Oh, they shot your father!
Come into my arms, my little darling..