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I Can See Them
Avetik Isahakian

In the quiet dusk I see it.
The thin smoke rising from my father's house.
Outside the willows sway. And in dark corners
invisible crickets start their song.

I can see my mother in that lamplight.
Her grandchild climbs into her lap to sleep.
And as she rocks my baby
I know that silently she prays:

First for God's hand to touch every hurt,
every sickbed, every traveler far from home.
And then for him to guide
her son, her wandering boy.

Sweet smoke rises from my father's house.
My mother prays, my child sleeping in her arms.
The cricket in invisible corners
sings to the cool willows as they sway.


About The Poet

Avetik Isahakian

Avetik Issahakian was born in October of 1875 in a little village called 'Khazarabad,' in Armenia. He received his education at Eichmiadzin's Spiritual Academy, followed by studies at Leipzig and Zurich Universities in Europe, which included courses in history and literature.

Issahakian spent time in Paris, France and in 1934 returned to Armenia, where he played an active role in creating the Armenian Academy of Sciences. He was also nominated to the Chairmanship of the Armenian Writers.

Mr. Issahakian wrote numerous lyrics that dealt with themes of fatherland and of motherly love. Some of his works were, "Yerker oo Verker" (Songs and Wounds), "Abu Lalla Mahari," "Im Hogin" (My Soul), "Mayrigis" (To My Mother), "Gisher" (Night), "Goozes Linem" (You Want Me To Be), "Hayrenikits Heroo" (Away From My Fatherland), "Dariner Hedo" (Years Later).

Dozens of his poems were set to music. His works in Armenian were translated and published in English, Russian and many other languages.

Issahakian died in 1957 and was buried in Yerevan's Artist's Pavilion.