Paruyr Sevak was an outstanding Armenian poet and activist. He stood out not only with his brilliant talent, but also bravery in his activism during the strict Soviet regime.
Paruyr Sevak is one of the most famous poets of modern Armenian literature. He mostly struggled for preserving the rich cultural heritage of the Armenian nation.
Humanism and his obsession toward the native culture shaped his poems. Keep reading and discover more about one of the greatest poets of the 20th century.
At the same time, you can read his poems in English and some of his brainy quotes as well.
Paruyr Sevak’s Role in Armenian Poetry
Being born in a small village, this outstanding man was one of the best-known Armenian poets, translators and literary critics.
While growing up, his love for education became more obvious. Motivated with love for learning, Paruyr Sevak entered the secondary school at the age of 6. This was an exclusive case, as the legal age for attending school was 7.
Then he became a student of humanities at Yerevan State University and graduated from it with honors. It was at that time Sevak discovered the poems of another talented Armenian, Yeghishe Charents and developed the wish to be a poet.
Soon he started his studies at the Academy of Sciences, Abeghyan Institute of Literature as a postgraduate. Finally, some years later he became a doctor of philology.
As a poet, Paruyr Sevak brought a new flow of ideas with his poems. They reflected the newly emerging concepts, shifts in social norms and values that Armenians had experienced at that period of time.
He often criticized the corrupted system of the Soviet Union. Sevak remained loyal to his principles and never stopped admiring the uniqueness of his culture. He brought significant contribution to the Armenian poetry. His quotes are still very up-to-date.
Paruyr Sevak died in 1971 in a car accident while driving back to Yerevan.
Paruyr Sevak- The Poet
Nearly all famous writers at a particular period of their life made a decision to quit writing. This is a very common experience and Paruyr Sevak was no exception. He was sure that poetry must come from the very depths of the poet’s spirit.
So, he gave up poetry and started digging into Armenian literature and grammar. However, the era he lived in, made him become a poet to fight for honesty and purity of human mind.
His first poem was devoted to Zinaida- the character of Turgenev’s novel. Then he published several volumes of poetry called “Prayers”, “Moon”, “Sonneteer”. Thus, it was his first book entitled “The Immortals Command” that brought him more fame.
It was published in two volumes. With writing that book, Paruyr Sevak started a battle against cultural corruption. “Irreconcilable Friendship” was published in 5000 copies. The book was about the relation between individual and collective consciousness. He put the human-being on his palm and studied him from all possible angles.
Public welcomed Sevak’s new ideas and approaches in the literature. His poems shaped the world perception of generations coming after him.
However, the case was different with Soviet government and critics. His works were also widely criticized and banned from being published for a while.
Interesting Facts about Paruyr Sevak
At first it may seem that Sevak had a usual life of a poet. But, we have to admit, Paruyr Sevak was something special. There were many talented and brilliant poets those years, but Sevak stood out with many things from others.
So, let’s discover some interesting facts about this extraordinary Armenian poet!
Interesting Fact #1: Paruyr Ghazaryan vs. Paruyr Sevak
Don’t get surprised! We are not going to compare two different people here. Paruyr Ghazaryan is just the birth name for Paruyr Sevak.
Actually, there are two hypotheses why Sevak adopted this pen name. According to the first one, he was so inspired by the Western Armenian poet Ruben Sevak, that Paruyr Ghazaryan took name Sevak as his pen name.
Another variant suggests that the pen name Sevak was suggested by newspaper editor Zoryan.
Besides, their original family name contained the prepositional name “Ter” (Eng. Lord). This means that Sevak’s forefathers were priests. By the way, this is absolutely Armenian phenomenon.
Interesting Fact #2: Paruyr Sevak or Just “The Book-Addict”
The gifted poet who created works that worth everything, was a well-known book-addict even in early childhood.
Sevak was keen on reading. He read all the books he could find in local libraries. He was said to have the richest lexicon among other writers.
Interesting Fact #3: Mysterious Death
Sevak’s death is one of the most mysterious deaths in Armenian literature. He died in car crash. Furthermore, his death is as important to Armenians as that of Kennedy to Americans.
Still, there are only flimsy versions and standpoints. Armenians believe that he was killed by Soviet system.
Paruyr Sevak was well-known for his criticism toward Soviet government. Who knows? Maybe it was a deliberate murder.
Paruyr Sevak’s Poems in English
It’s a common viewpoint that good writings are better to be read in the original language. But as it’s impossible to know all languages, to say the least, translators “take the floor”.
Of course, in Armenian Paruyr Sevak is much more marvelous. But, his poems in English are engaging as well. Check yourself and get ready for a huge flow of emotions and astonishment!
Paruyr Sevak’s Poem in English #1: We are Few, but We are Called Armenians
Fatherland, his nation and culture were the major topics Sevak tackled within his poems. The poem “We are Few, but we are Called Armenians” was written in 1961, Yerevan.
It’s about the uniqueness and the privilege of being Armenian. He tells to be proud of Armenian nation and stresses the eternal existence of the talented nation.
Go through the link to read the poem in English and figure out your reasons for loving Armenians.
Paruyr Sevak’s Poem in English #2: Love
Just search for Paruyr Sevak’s poems and you will find out what love is. Sevak was devotedly in love with Sulamita. She was everything to him and his love is expressed in his poems as well.
The poem called “Love” is all about this feeling and it’s “results”. Sevak makes a lot of unique comparisons that every reader may find a part of his/her emotions.
So, discover your own emotions and the real colors of the poem here.
P.S. Of course, you may not catch the idea at first blush. Don’t go mad and make sure to read it once again! You will definitely figure out the quote!
Paruyr Sevak’s Poem in English #3: Transience
Paruyr Sevak had the talent of expressing a wide range of ideas in a tiny poem. His rich vocabulary and realistic approach towards life are especially obvious in the poem called “Transience”, written in 1967.
Subtle description of twilight raking the clouds and sniffing wind give the imagery the poet bore in his mind while writing it. Get acquainted with unique hues of the short poem here.
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