My poem Yerevan is a big City in Artist’s book by Emily Artinian. Translation by the author in cooperation with Margarit Tadevosyan Ordoukhanyan

From Ararat to Angeltown. New Writing from the Armenian Writers’ Group Bnagir. 2005, London.








Yerevan is a Big City  
Երեւանը մեծ քաղաք է
(fragment)

Baghramyan Avenue is frozen over.
It is hard to smile in the dark when nobody can see you.
This is the longest night, the 21st of December.
And I don’t want to go home.

Now I understand the tension in your eyes;
yesterday I did not see it.
Yesterday all the goblets were filled with joy,
I turned them upside-down, still they were filled with joy;
then suddenly all the gates began to close;
they were closing forever, but I did not now that,
and I didn’t feel pain.

The past is unreal, as if in a dream.
Summer, peace, scientific communism
are all unreal, as if in a dream.
The real Yerevan is a dark city frozen over.

It is late, too late, all the candles are blown out,
yet I know there are people behind these walls.
They can’t sleep. In their hearts
hope is turning black like a sunflower.

This is the longest night. They call it winter solstice.
The past is unreal, as if in a dream.
Summer, peace, scientific communism
are all unreal, all in the past.
Just like the feeling that the river of time
flows somewhere in the distance.

The river of time is no longer far away,
it flows right beneath my windows now;
all the glass in my windows is shattered.

I will not forgive you your being afraid of pain,
I will not forgive you your preferring retreat to failure,
I feel no pain,
I simply can’t sleep. In my heart
hope is turning black like a sunflower.
... ...