That’s Her, The…

That’s Her, They Say

Translated by Shushan Avagyan
Written by Shushanik Kurghinian (1876 – 1927), author of I want to Live

That’s her, they say, the poet,
and stare intensely at my face in silence.
Some are disappointed to see me
in my old, formless and plain dress.

That’s her, they say, the poet,
nothing unusual, she’s just a mortal woman.
Perhaps people would like to see
wings on my shoulders, my face luminescent.

You said nothing, but you noticed me,
you took my hand, trembling and docile.
At that instant, from the depths of my true heart
I loved you so. . .


I wanted to sing: they told me I could not,
I wove my own songs: quiet, you are a girl!
But when in this troubled world
an elegy I became,
I spoke to the hearts of many.
The more I sang:
the sooner she’ll get tired, they said.
The louder I sang:
the faster her voice will fail.
But I kept singing endlessly,
that’s when they started to cajole.
(from I Want To Live, AIWA Press, 2005)

May these words empower the voices of the oppressed to never again hesitate to speak.


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