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The Idol of Beauty
Daniel Varoujan

Let your marble be excavated
from the uterine deep mines of Olympus
and hammered into fiery female flesh
glazed with a light like fevers.

Let your eyes be the twin abyss
where the human dives to feel immortalized.
Let your form be uncorruptible; your breasts,
a harmony that arouses the lifesap flow.

Be naked as the pot's soul.
But let that heathen nakedness
stay beyond the touch of man.

And if it should be your command
for sacrifice I will be that slaughtered victim
for your stone to drink the drop of my blood.


About The Poet


Daniel Varoujan
(1884-1915)

More than anyone else of their time, Siamanto and Varoujan verbalized the hopes of the Armenians at the turn of the century. Using legends, old epics, and pagan history at the springboard and allegory for their aspirations, they waited for deliverance from oppression and the rebirth in Armenian arts. Varoujan had seen a great many wrongs in his young life. When he was a boy, his father had been falsely accused and jailed in Istanbul, during the 1896 Turkish massacres. After Varoujan's schooling in Istanbul he studied in Venice and then at the University of Chent in Belgium.

He taught, first in his native village near Sebastia, then in Istanbul as headmaster of an Armenian school. His firs book of poems, The Trembling, appeared in 1906. It was followed by The Heart of a Nation (1909), Pagan Songs (1912), and, after his death in 1915, The Sons of Bread (1921).

Varoujan was among the first intellectuals rounded up by the Turks before the 1915 massacre of the Armenian population, and was only 31 when he was murdered. Varoujan's work contains some of the richest, most sensual imagery in Armenian literature.