ArtLinks x h-pem | Four 'hayrens' by the poets of ArtLinks
June 18, 2019 - December 16, 2019
The cohort at this year’s Hamazkayin ArtLinks program was an impressive bunch. Check out some of their poetic creations below!
Every summer, the Hamazkayin ArtLinks retreat program attracts a talented caliber of students, young professionals, artists, and scholars. For one weekend, they all congregate in a remote North American village to explore, analyze, discuss various artistic mediums in the Armenian context. This year, Dr. Lisa Gulesserian of Harvard University led a creative writing workshop on a medieval form of Armenian poetry called the “hayren,” which is comprised of four-line stanzas (quatrains) with 15 syllables per line. Following in the footsteps of the hayren’s most prolific muse, 16th-century monk and poet, Nahapet Kuchak, ArtLinks participants crafted their own poems.
The result was an explosive tableau of individual imagination. Nearly two dozen hayrens were composed on that summer day. Here, we present four of them. Two were originally composed in hayeren (Armenian), but we have included the English translations, as well. Check them out!
“Now You Don't”
By Missak Artinian
Sleight of hand and misdirection
are the rules of illusion.
Follow them and peer in her eyes;
see wonder and confusion.
But rules were made to be broken,
she said, with some exclusions.
And that is why I vanished a
beat from this conclusion.
By Armen Poladian
I am a moving picture at night,
the moment the lights dim.
A performance under the moon’s gaze,
The suspense grips me by my bones,
my mission to know the end.
I reach out my hand,
Woken up, I forget.
“The endless fear of every day”
by Aram Der Khatchadourian (translated)
Early in the morning, I crawl to the bathroom,
I wash my teeth and quickly hop in the bath, I'm late to work,
But I notice there is no shampoo. What should I do? Not shower?
My hair, my beard—should they not be soft? God forbid, I'd be ashamed.
I dashed out of the house to head to the store for shampoo,
I searched here and there, what a pity, what I sought was not there.
Dry beard, wet eyes. Filthy hair, melancholy heart,
When my last hope was fading, I finally awakened.
«Ամէն օրուայ անվերջ վախ» (Original, Armenian)
Առտու կանուխ կ՚երթամ, սողալով պէտքարան կ՚երթամ,
Ակռաս լուամ, լոգանք մտնամ, արագ, գործի կ՛ուշանամ,
Սակայն նշմարեմ, շամփու չկայ: Ի՞նչ ընեմ: Չլոգնա՞մ:
Մազերս, մօրուքս փափուկ չըլլա՞ն: Աստուած չընէ, կ՛ամչնամ:
Վազելով ելայ տունէն, որ շամփուս գտնեմ խանութէս,
Փնտռեցի հոս, փնտռեցի հոն, ափսոս, չկար փնտռածս:
Չորցած մօրուք, թաց աչքեր, աղտոտ մազ, մելամաղձոտ սիրտ,
Երբ վերջին յոյսն էր փախելու վրայ, վերջապէս արթնցայ:
By Nareh Nokhoudian (translated)
Your eyes are sea rocks,
Into the water I throw them,
Fish flee to dry land,
Astghik will soon awaken.
And when I throw them into the fire,
Jealousy will flash,
Vahagn will also awaken.
Ծովաքարերը աչքերդ են,
Կը նետեմ ջուրին մէջ,
Ձուկերը ցամաք կը փախչին,
Աստղիկը շուտ կ՚արթննայ։
Իսկ երբ նետեմ կրակին մէջ,
Խանդերը կը կայծկոտին,
Յանկարծակի կը մարին,
Վահագն ալ կ’արթննայ։
Want to write a hayren of your own? Send us your submission!
Any additional references or recommendations? We would love to hear your suggestions!
The Hamazkayin ArtLinks program has become the premier destination for all things art and Armenian for young diasporans in North America. It is no shock, then, that h-pem would join forces for a collaboration of the ages!
In June 2019, the fourth installment of ArtLinks took place in the remote Canadian countryside, where a creative writing workshop stirred some creative juices. The result was a modern production of poems using a traditional style perfected by a medieval Armenian monk. Read all about it below!
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