Vahan Teryan


Vahan Sukias Ter-Grigoryan (Vahan Teryan) was born January 28th, 1885 in the Gandza village (განძანი) of Javakheti region of Georgia (then in Russian Empire). Schooled in Tiflis, he then studied at the Lazarian College in Moscow, where he was exposed to symbolism and joined the Russian Social Democrats. He was jailed by Czarist police for his political activity. In 1913, Teryan left Moscow University for the University of St. Petersburg, where he majored in oriental languages, intensifying his political involvement. After the revolution he became representative of Armenians in the Ministry of Nations, personally working with Lenin and Stalin.


He is mostly known for his poems dedicated to autumn and love. That's why Teryan is known as "Singer of Autumn" in Literature. He published his first book of poems, "Dreams at Dusk", in 1908, which made him an immediate sensation, Hovhannes Tumanian calling him the most original lyric poet of his age. He later published "Night Remembrance", "The Golden Legend", "The Return", "The Golden Link", "In the Land of Nairi" (where he uses the word 'Nairi' for each instance where the word 'Armenia' would have suited), and "The Cat's Paradise". His poems are filled with images of rain, mist, pallid fields and shapeless shadows, symbols of sorrow, despair and eventually, peace.


He published his first book of poems, The Trembling, in 1906, followed by The Heart of a Nation in 1909. That same year he returned to his village to teach, and soon after marrying his wife, Araksi Varoujan, he became the principal of Constantinople’s St. Gregory The Illuminator School in 1912. Shortly after, he published a third book titled Pagan Songs.


He died in Orenburg of tuberculosis shortly before his 35th birthday. He was buried there, his grave marked by a wooden cross, the location of which has since been forgotten. In 1964, soil from the Orenburg cemetery was brought to Yerevan by Teryan's daughter and buried in the Komitas Pantheon with a cenotaph was placed.


Each year there is a commemoration of his life in the Javakhk region of Gandza, the village where he was born.



Vahan Teryan Poetry:

Poems in English
Poems in Armenian (with audio clips)
Poems in Armenian
Poems in Russian


Sources:

Wikipedia