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Vahan Teryan

Vahan Teryan (Vahan Ter-Grigoryan) was born in the village Gandza, Akhalqalaq region, Georgia. Nature and rural life, suggestive for a dreaming fancy, had a huge imprint on him.

After his elementary schooling in Georgia, Teryan went to Moscow to study at the Armenian Lazarian Seminary. Here he learned Russian, Latin, French languages, studied the new and old Armenian literature, world classics and contemporary writings.

His poetry teacher was Dor Langen, a Dutch poet and the Dutch consul in Moscow, who introduced his students to the symbolist poets of the time. Vahan Teryan continued his education at Moscow University, the faculty of history and linguistics.

In 1913 Teryan left Moscow University for the University of St. Petersburg, where he majored in oriental languages. He became a friend of Maxim Gorky and together they published an anthology of Armenian literature.

After the genocide of Armenians in 1915, Teryan went from town to town in Northern Caucasus to arrange conditions for Armenian refugees. He fought hard to rescue Western Armenia.

During this period he fell sick. In 1919 he left for Middle Asia under state commission. Under the age of 35 Vahan Teryan died of consumption in the remote Orenburg. He started writing at his early teens.

In 1906 his first book, “Twilight Dreams”, a collection of poems, made him an immediate celebrity. His works were instantly embraced by Armenians all over the world.

He was hailed by the eminent Armenian poet, Hovhannes Toumanian, as the most original lyric poet of the decade.

He later published the collections of poems “Night Remembrance”, “The Golden Legend”, “The Return”, “The Crown of Thorns” “The Golden Link”, “The Land of Nairi”, and “The Cat"s Paradise”. Vahan Teryan was the first poet in Eastern Armenian lyrics to arrange his poems in collections.

Though separate units, they make an entire unity in their thematic basis, common feelings and moods. His songs breathe with gloom and sorrow, spring and love, the native land and its fate. The themes of sorrow spread in various branches through “Twilight Dreams”, “Night Remembrance” and “The Golden Legend”.

Starting with sad autumn melodies, images of dusk and dying nature, “Twilight Dreams” closes with bright spring songs. The hero of these poems is manifested as one yearning for normal life apart from harsh world. Sometimes human feelings, e.g. sadness, are shown in the form of a human being, a young girl.

The melancholic autumn song is the song of the poet’s heart. The lyrical hero loves the world, yet its blows leave him with scars. On the one hand, he is fused with the dusk and autumn colours, on the other hand, he complains against the dark world forcing the light of the soul wither.

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Writer: Hasmik Muradyan
Editor: Eugenia Melkonyan
 Date Added: Thursday August 31, 2006 08:41:23 

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