To My Son

by Baruyr Sevag

(1924-1971)

* translated from Armenian by Shant Norashkharian *



Whether with me, or without me, my dearest one, you will still grow,
With my help or without my help, you will someday still understand,
The way one must live in this life, the way one must look at this life,
The things that are cheap in this world, and the priceless things of this world.
Neither do I tolerate nor respect those who lecture to me,
I have always abhorred, my son, the flat sermons or the sharp ones.
But if I am, my dearest one, now reading a lecture to you,
It is only because often, very often in a man's life,
If time itself has a large share, the century has a large share,
The way he has chosen himself, has no little effect as well.
Perhaps like me you will also be surrounded often with this:
Often as I looked around me, I felt envy for those people,
Whose life passes so easily - as if it were a gravel way,
Without any barrier or wall, like a ruler so flat and straight,
School and then - soon a Pooh-Bah, influential big bell ringer,
And his warm place is then secured...You cannot live in this manner!
I would not want, that your life be like that a flat gravel way.
Don't pass over the asphalt road, you must prefer to build a road!

* * *
Live peacefully always with love, but do not flee from suffering;
It clears the eye from the eye's dust, it cleans the soul from the soul's rust.
One does not die from suffering, but one becomes yet stronger,
Later the heart that's recovered will bear its pain more easily.
Ah, do not mew! Your father has never endured the ones who mew...
It's much better, my son that you water your eyes with bitter tears
And continue on your own way. Let it be full of many stones,
But if inside your soul there is longing for good, kindness and love,
You will not tire, but you will walk and you will rise up the mountain.
For that someone needs a spirit, for that there is no need for wings.

* * *
You must be kind in everything, which kind person died from hunger?
There's no exile for what is true - why keep silent against the lies?
Yet around us there are people, who bend their waists when it's needed,
Who go ranting when it's needed, shut up or smile when it's needed,
They point fingers when it's needed...Don't be in life so immature,
You, understand, now from this head, do not forget, never, my son:
That kindness is only that which never changes no matter what,
It has white face; but yet never seven or eight colored linings...

* * *
Do not complain; you remember? "Days of failure...come but then leave"...
Do not complain. If you have been after goodness, reach it yourself...
Do not complain, but do not read life as if it were just a book,
Just like a book, far from yourself, as if reading about strange men...
Be always proud, not arrogant (only vain men are arrogant,
Your father used only this way to sort out the wise from the fool).
Be proud always like your father, for not ruining anyone's home,
For not breaking any kind word, for not jailing any kind mind,
That you have walked straight in your life, and if you have heard them often,
It is only for the reason that the petty business has thrown
In the market often only every kind of trivial rabble,
But you have no trivialities, you don't even have fake money...

* * *
You are still young, you don't know yet, how one must look at life itself.
You are still young. When you grow up, and become a mature adult,
My advices to you perhaps will seem so old and so useless,
Perhaps in life there will not be so many wounds and shortcomings.
Ah, may God give! I never dream of anything else in this life
(The blind, my son, as you well know, only desires a pair of eyes).
My advices, let them be old...the flower dies only that way,
When on the tree in the summer it turns to a ripe piece of fruit.
For the sake of the coming fire, I am ready to burn today,
For the sake of tomorrow's truth, let me today be in error...

* * *
Translation Copyright 1996 by Shant Norashkharian

Feedback/Comments: The email address of Shant Norashkharian is:
MASSISSAR@AOL.COM

ARI (ARMENIAN REFORM INSURGENCE)

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