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In the Mist
Vahan Derian

In the mist of this present scene
There looms again the Nairean grief,
What other country carries such grief in its heart
And such forgiveness- what other country?
Where else are thrusting rocks
Bared like hands reaching to the sky?
Where else is prayer this true and plain
And where so willing the oblation?
Where does the vengeful dagger lie, that stabs
As wickedly, deeply, into a heart?
Where else is the soul so wounded,
And the innocent earth so bloody?

About The Poet

Vahan Derian

After his elementary schooling in Tiflis, Derian went to Moscow to the Armenian Lazarian College. His poetry teacher there was Dor Langen, a Dutch poet and the Dutch consul in Moscow, who introduced his students to the symbolist poets of the time.

He continued his education at Moscow University and while there joined the Russian Social Democrats. The Czarist police had him jailed for political activity. In 1906 his first book, "Dreams at Dusk", made him an immediate celebrity. He was hailed by the dean of the Armenian poets, Hovhannes Toumanian, as the most original lyric poet of the decade. He later published "Night Remembrance", "The Golden Legend", "The Return", "The Golden Link", "In the Land of Naiyiri", and "The Cat's Paradise".

In 1913, Derian left Moscow University for the University of St. Petersburg, where he majored in oriental languages. His political involvement also intensified. He became a friend of Maxim Gorky and together they published an anthology of Armenian literature.

After the revolution Derian was in charge of the Armenian sector in the ministry of the nations. He died of tuberculosis in 1920.