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
The Grandchildren of Vartan the Great
St. Mesrob Mashdots Poem
(poem in original language with English translation)
Poetic Commentary Examples
Hampartzoum often wrote poetic commentary on top of newspaper articles that he wanted to address.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Below are Hampartzoum’s original handwritten interpretation of ” 24 Doon”
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.