Poem: A Vow to Ararat

'Srbazan ler' ('Holy Mountain'), acrylic on canvas by Rupen Janbazian
‘Srbazan ler’ (‘Holy Mountain’), acrylic on canvas by Rupen Janbazian, 2013

A Vow to Ararat

We will reach your summit, oh Holy One,
When the flood of bombs desists,
And the seas of blood are draped in rainbows.
When the butchered dove of peace
Returns from the abyss of distress
With the olive branch of amity in its beak,
We shall make it to the mountaintop…

From the cities, the streets, and the fields,
From the depths of the blind alleys of exile
Our people shall gallantly storm
And make our forebears’ dream a fact,
And the black walls of fate, which separate us
Shall disintegrate.

We will reach our waters and lands,
Trumpeting our Holy-of-Holies,
We shall reach, even if all stars crumbled
And all roads turned to blood and hell—
We will reach your summit…

Come, see our ranks flaming with fire and fervor,
See our yearning that soars on Vahagn’s* wings,
See our spirit, spotless as your hands,
See our will, solid as your stones,
And have faith, oh God of Granite,
Oh Holy Mountain, have faith—
We shall make it to the summit!

……………Andranik Tzarukian
Translated by Rupen Janbazian and Tatul Sonentz

* Vishapakagh Vahagn (Vahagn the Dragon Reaper) was a god of fire and war worshiped anciently and historically in Armenia.


Rupen Janbazian

Rupen Janbazian

Rupen Janbazian is the editor of Torontohye Monthly. He is the former editor of The Armenian Weekly and the former director of public relations of the Tufenkian Foundation. Born and raised in Toronto, he is currently based in Yerevan.
Rupen Janbazian

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