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Prayer for the New Year
Missak Medzarents

Give me, my God, that kind of happiness
that has no self. Let me gather it like flowers
in other people's eyes.

Give me, oh Lord, an impersonal joy
which like a child's sparkler tints
the onlooker's face.

Give me, oh Lord, an impersonal joy
to hang like ribbons braided with bells
on each door I pass.

Let me build altars out of words
of those I love and echo them
like cymbals of brass.

Give me an impersonal joy
to share like the stars dispersed
across the skies.

Let it be happiness
that does not drown laments
of those in pain

and not the kind of joy confined
within my self alone.
Let every loaf upon my plate be blessed

with a crossed pair of joys.
And like the sun going west
let me spread sunlight, Lord.

Let me lower it on waters
as one lowers nets and plant it
in earth's furrows like a plow
and like the rain
shower it
over the thirsty crowd.

And having found it, let me stay
the hunter of the ideal. Give me the grace
to know its true worth

like the sailor on the life raft.
Let me gather it from the souls
of common and uncommon man

and give it back.


About The Poet


Missak Medzarents
(1885-1908)

Missak Medzarents has been called the most lyrical, most musical poet to write in Armenian. In fact, since the identifying ingredient of his work was its musicality, it has been claimed his poetry would be impossible to translate into a foreign language.

Medzarents was born in the Akn region, famous for its folk poetry. He received his early education there and his secondary schooling in Istanbul. He published two volumes of poetry, 'The Rainbow" and "New Verses" before he died of tuberculosis at 22.