Avetik Isahakyan in World Culture

Avetik Isahakyan in World Culture

“Thinking about Kuchak and Isahakyan, I realize that both of them captivated me. I loved Isahakyan dearly… Isahakyan is a first-class poet – perhaps, there is no such fresh and direct talent in all of Europe now.”

Alexander Blok, Russian poet and translator

“There is a tear in Isahakyan’s works… And this gives his poems a special sharpness… His poems are painfully restless and impulsive.

Isahakyan’s literary wealth can be divided into two halves.

The first is composed of his songs, in which he came so close to the storehouse of folk lyrics that other poems seem to be creations of nameless singers or a completely new series of folk songs. All the usual motifs of folk lyrics are used with all the skill provided to the poet by the latest poetic technique advancements.

This kind of poems connect Isahakyan with the poetry of Ioannisian and Tumanyan, making him a characteristic representative of the school of “Russian Armenians”, a continuation of the best traditions of past Armenian literature.

The other half of Isahakyan’s work is composed of his reflective poems and his great poem Abu Lala Mahari… Here, Isahakyan acts as a European poet, setting to himself the same or similar tasks that the lyric poets of other nations – French, German, Russian – are striving to solve…

From these verses, one can judge what a great master the Armenian literature has in the person of Avetik Isahakyan.”

Valery Bryusov, Russian poet and translator

“In the picturesque variety of verses of Isahakyan, the spirit of truly great poetry lives.

His works are a song about the past, present, and future of Armenia.

All of Isahakyan’s verses contain soft and warm light. They are permeated with this light. Its sadness is bright, as Pushkin would say – the world of his poetic paintings is bright, the sun does not go down in this world.

Such a combination of emotional revelation with lyrical spontaneity was not known to any contemporary. Sorrow and anger have never turned into darkness and malice in him.

In him speaks the eternal youth of the country and the eternal youth of the nature which created the unique phenomenon that we call Armenia.”

Nikolai Tikhonov, Russian poet and prose writer

“Poet Isahakyan is one of those poets who are rarely born. Any nation’s literature, even the richest, could be proud of him. For decades, his poetry has helped me live. I am convinced that it will survive for centuries.”

Ilya Ehrenburg, prose writer

“Avetik Isahakyan is the rightful heir and continuator of the noble traditions of classical Armenian poetry. At the same time, he is a quite original poet, simple and direct in his feelings and thoughts.

Among the roses and vineyards of new Armenia surrounded by popular love and admiration, a beautiful poet, man, and citizen lives and creates.”

Maxim Rylsky, Ukrainian poet

“I especially love Avetik Isahakyan and consider him one of the greatest poets of our time. I wrote music to his poems.”

Georgy Sviridov, Russian composer

“Thank you very much for drawing my attention to the poetry of Avetik Isahakyan, especially to the poem Abu Lala Mahari, which is a gem in world poetry.”

Desanka Maksimovic, Yugoslav poetess, prose writer, translator of the poem Abu Lala Maari into Serbian

“Isahakyan’s poetry was a discovery for me. He is one of the greatest poets living in the world, and I was greatly impressed by the depth and magnitude of his talent.”

S. Baura, English literary critic

“A poet generally always captivates you, but the subtlety and depth of Isahakyan’s thought do shock you.”

Jesualdo Sosa, Uruguayan poet

“Avetik Isahakyan is a great writer on an international scale. He is completely human, and his work Abu Lala Mahari is an undeniable, incomparable masterpiece. From the very first days, I was imbued with the depth of his feelings. Unconditionally and completely, I am fascinated by the work of Avetik Isahakyan, and his personality for me is a lighthouse of sparkling thought, soul, bright light, and warmth.”

Hayreddin El-Assadi, Arabic literary critic, translator

“The works of the great poet belong only to his people. With the stream of sounds of his fiery heart, the poet enchants everyone as if he is the spring call. Such is Isahakyan’s poetry – for it, there is no limit in time and space.”

Vacys Reimeris, Lithuanian poet

“Among the best poets of the world who have created undying works that excite new generations with depth of thought and feeling, wonderful pictures of nature, love of life, humanity, and freedom, one of the first places belongs to the great poet of the Armenian people Avetik Isahakyan.”

Antanas Venclova, Lithuanian prose writer, poet

“True talents are like magnets. The keys of love for one or another people are in the hands of such people.

The genius of the Armenian nation gave birth to three remarkable masters of word of Armenian literature – Hovhannes Tumanyan, Derenik Demirchyan, and Avetik Isahakyan.

Isahakyan was a great poet and an ardent patriot, but this did not prevent him from conveying the impulses of his noble heart to the hearts of other nations.

The everyday life of the people and folk traditions, myths, and legends are brought to the level of universal ideas, and for this reason, they become close to the native hearts of all tribes and peoples.”

Natalia Arsenyeva, Belarussian poetess and translator

“With the passing of Avetik Isahakyan, Armenia and its people lost a father, the patriarch of the motherland. The world poetry lost one of its most brilliant poets, and we, his friends, lost a pure, crystal soul and a cordial friend.”

Konstantine Gamsakhurdia, Georgian prose writer

“One of the photographs depicts Avetik Isahakyan, leaning on the sacred stones of Zvartnots. This is symbolic. The great singer of Armenia found support in the centuries-old tragic and heroic history of his people, learning the innermost secret of its amazing vitality.”

Victor Kochevsky, Ukrainian poet, translator

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