Hampartzoum’s Poems

Many of these selected poems are excerpts from the letters collection and the memoir. Often times Hampartzoum wrote in a poetic form so that Ottoman Turkish officials who were screening mail would not notice the atrocities he described.

We tried our best to translate the eloquence of Hampartzoum’s words that were written in Armenian, but the elegance of the Armenian word is lost in the English translation.

For Example, the original salutation of the letters were impossible to translate into English so we simply resorted to Dear…

Sara sences that her father would often write poetry when he was stressed emotionally, as a kind of therapeutic use of the traumatic memories.

Examples of Hampartzoum’s poetic writing style

My Eye’s Are Frightened From What They Have Seen

Exodus from Kharpert

The sun the light and the hope

The Grandchildren of Vartan the Great

Original Armenian Language

English Translation

St. Mesrob Mashdots Poem

Original Script

Poem Translated

Rose Hills

(poem in original language with English translation)

Translated Poem

Original language page 1

Original language page 2

The Grandchildren of Vartan The Great Page 1

The Grandchildren of Vartan The Great Page 2

My Black Days

My Black Days – In original language

Poem Hampartzoum wrote for a Baptism

Poetic Commentary Examples

Hampartzoum often wrote poetic commentary on top of newspaper articles that he wanted to address.

Example 1

Example 2

Example 3

Example 4

Poetry Samples from Hampartzoum’s Letters.

These are selections of poems that were found among Hampartzoum’s early letters thats span from 1915 to 1925.

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My eyes are frightened from what they have seen.

I am not afraid

Unity

She Is Destitute

My Kind and Yearnable Brother

May You Be Carried Away

My Heart is Bleeding

My Soul Brother

Stars In The Sky

Nightly Sleep Is Forbidden To My Eyes

Had These Mountains Not Existed

The Light of My Eye

I resemble a bird

Children of grief

My Turkish Letters from Hell

Orphans Poor and Alone

Don’t slight me with a quick glance.

Black Carpets

I resemble a head full of misfortune.

My Escape Out of Kharpert

Those were the days Ver. 2

Apples

A name to pine for

Don’t be like a hatchet

Poetic Prose

Poetic Prose (The letters were written in poetic form to communicate to relatives outside Turkey what was going on. Since the letters were censored by Turkish government officials, true meaning had to be expressed in a sublime manner.

Heinous Brutal Acts

The Cross Slips

The Principle’s last words at the closing of Hampaertzoum’s school in Perri.

A poem written by Hamayag sent to Hampartzoum in a letter.

What happened cannot be explained.

Turkish School for an Armenian in 1915 in Turkey. Every Armenian child was forced to recite these words morning and afternoon, to be converted.

Intimidation

I am not afraid of hell

With faith I confess

More Poetic Prose

These poetic letters were Hamparzoum’s attempt to communicate to his brothers outside Turkey in an incognito fashion the atrocities that had occurred by the Ottoman Turks.

Hampartzoum communicates with his relatives.

Faith

Generations of Armenians

Once There was a gardner

Bones in the abyss

Before I close my eye’s

One Chance in a million

Dont Slight Me

Kurdish Expressions remembered  and often used by Hampartzoum

Long Live The Government

Hampartzoum’s 2 cents’ regarding the Der Zor, the death Desert

An American Offer

The Brothers Complain

Who ever harbors an Armenian will get 5 years under lock and chain.

Experiences in Aleppo

Classmates briefly spared.

School days before the change.

On The Mountain

Best wishes on the occasion of a Baptism.

Written on letter to Tom Bradly May 19, 1977

The Armenian Protestant Church

I have suffered a great deal.

Resonate for the whole world to Hear.

God Is One

The Truth is painful to remember

Presented in original language and translated

Woven Feelings

Rose Hills Memorial Park (Hampartzoum bury’s his son.)

Read With Feeling

Pay with love and kisses

Noble Courageous Young Men

1915: Year of Mourning

Don’t be too Soft

Der Zor

Der-Zor with notes

My Letters from The Black Days

Is it Worth It to Read?

Is it worth reading with notes

I am One of The Survivors

For Their Faith

Sweet Licorice Root

My Mother’s birthplace

Who Who

Hampartzoum reflects on his father in law

Gooze, Gooze (goat, goat)

(One of the last poems Hampartzoum wrote)

Der Zor

Der Zor poem in Armenian with Image

Der Zor variant poem in Armenian with English translation

Hampartzoum reflects on “With Faith I confess”

English Translation

Hampartzoum reflects on “With Faith I confess”

Original writing in Armenian

1915, My Letters from the black days

We are the god given sacred letters

Hampartzoums poems found in letters

Hampartzoum’s poem written in letter

One of Hampartzoum’s last poetic expressions

Revenge & Demand

Revenge & Demand is an example of Hampartzoum merging his poetic writings with collage. This particular example is one of the only times we find him using the word revenge. However demand was a word he used more often as he believed that when something is yours and it is taken away from you, you have the right to demand for its return.

To view more of Hampartzoum’s collages, Click Here

Revenge & Demand

Revenge & Demand – Translated page 1

Revenge & Demand – Translated page 1

Bedros Chitjian’s Poems (Hampartzoum Chitjian’s oldest brother)

Bedros Chitjian was the eldest brother of 6 and snuck out of Turkey in 1913 with a distant relative from Ismael. The burden of travel debt to America weighed heavily on his father for years. The Turkish would inscript Armenians into the Turkish military and force them to build the railroads without food, like slavery and many young Armenian males died that way.

Poem 1

Poem 2

Poem 3

Poem 4

Poem 5

Poem 6

Poem 7

Escaping from Turkey

Sweet Licorice Root

Sweet licorice root,

Potatoes,

Onion layers — a great deal of,

Mushrooms,

Mountain almonds, prickly tree…

Sparrow-green flower — very delicious

“Blorig Yonja”, which grows abundantly near the streams, and very delicious,

“Goullek” green grass,

They used to cook (the above) with cracked wheat Pilaf — it was very delicious.

Wish it were a few years back in time; then my writing too would have been delicious to the reader.

Old age is hell because of merciless and savage people.[1]

[1] Hampartzoum’s childhood memories as a young boy of 7-8, gathering greens and flowers to delight family members as a treat of each season of the year… written 2-3 months before his passing in May of 2003! Visions of his cherished childhood would not stop!

The renewal of the wound inside the heart of a survivor

The (song) singing of the crane

1915

Crane dearest

Crane dearest

It is spring.

Crane dearest

Crane dearest,

Give regards

To my father and mother…

Oh, what days they were… in the hell of 1915. Dream or reality?

Crane dearest

Crane dearest

Where do you come from?

Or where do you go?

Let me write a letter

And give it to you

So you take it to “amanat.”

I have a sample of twin brothers for you.

My late father used to always say…

Not a leaf on a tree can move without the order of God.

If so, what was our sin that led to…?

Did God order the murderous Turk?

They gave us Red Massacres

Red country

Mourning and lamentations.

And the vulgar bastards of America

Gave us white massacres

Or black coal massacres?

Both are the same.

Unbearable is the scorching fire of God.

A song from 1919 — Hmayag, my Uncle’s son, in the orphanage:

Generation of Armenians, Sons of grief,
We have wounds incurable.

Exile, torments, beatings and slaps,

They filled our lives with plentiful of pain,

We became orphans, miserable, with no one to give us a hand.

We wander from door to door.

Be good, friends,

And save us from the sad grief.

Our eyes have been terrified by what they saw,

Our ears from what they heard.

We are not afraid of hell.

Our lives have already been through hell.

The Turks used to say: “It Yourar, Kerven Gecher,” (which means):

The Turks used to say: “It Yourar, Kerven Gecher,” (which means):

“Armenians bark like dogs, but our caravan moves on.”

Armenians — you cannot achieve anything by just screaming words,

The proverb states:

“Don’t be too soft, they’ll crush you;

Don’t be too hard, they’ll hang you.”

This April 24, let us not make big noise with words alone, or with the empty sermons of the clergy, but instead, use your heads, and do something in the newspapers, on T.V., or through government officials, so that we old ones, feel some happiness before we close our eyes forever.

There are many who would help financially if an Armenian such as Kissinger or Doctor Luther King steps forward.

Let the Armenians awaken.

Oh, how I wish I was lucky enough to see that day and then die.

Use the Survivors. You are already too late…

A man who considers himself unlucky.

Hampartzoum’s version of I Confess – 24 Verses (Doon)

Hampartzoum and his family repeated the original version of this prayer every night  before dinner. Each family member would take turns standing and reciting each verse.

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Below are Hampartzoum’s original handwritten interpretation of ” 24 Doon”

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Hampartzoum’s Last Words

Hampartzoum never stopped, until his end, he expressed himself in poetic terms. In his final years his handwriting deteriorated. Only Seta, his writings translator, was capable of deciphering the legibility of his handwritten words.