Monday, April 7, 2008

Pashinian: "To Spring." A poem.

Here is a poem by opposition leader Nikol Pashinian, a man who is very much respected in Armenia even by people who aren't firm supporters of Levon Ter Petrossian. Today, he is in hiding; if he weren't, he'd be in jail awaiting trial on false charges brought up by the Prosecutor General, Aghvan Hovsepian, who, it turns out, has a side job as a mafia Don. The opposition movement's leaders are not only politicians, but intellectuals. Kocharian, on the other hand, wouldn't recognize a poem if it pitched a tent on his nose and started a campfire.

Pashinian makes a reference to a certain "singer, songwriter friend." I wonder if that friend is Ruben Hakhverdian who has publicly criticized the present criminal government.

Note that Pashinian's advice regarding how to read the poem doesn't apply to it in translation: Armenian poems follow a different meter that fits the polysyllabic nature of the language better. It would be nearly impossible to preserve the meter in a translation and not distort the meaning of the poem in the first place, even if one wanted to try such a thing. It could be put into English meters, but to do that right takes a luxuriously long time, weeks, if not months. It is worth noting, however, that the meter of "STRU-ggle, STRU-ggle, TILL the END" is similar to "pay-KAR, pay-KAR, min-CHEV VERJ." A happy coincidence.

The rhyme scheme is ABAB. But if people want to get an idea of the rhythm of the original, per stanza, this is usually the meter of the original, where "-" is a stressed and "." is an unstressed syllable and "~" is the regular "medium" stress on the last syllable of Armenian words:

-..~ -.~ , -..~ -.~
-..~ -.~ , -..~ -.~
-..~ -.~ , -..~ -.~
-.-.-.- (.) .-.-.-

The unstress mark in parenthesis is the pause he recommends. The first three lines each have 14 syllables, divided into two sets of seven syllables. And that is generally the logic of the poem that I've tried to preserve: each set of seven syllables is an independent idea. The last line of each stanza takes the six septa-syllabic ideas of the stanza and grounds them, so to speak, in the "Now." What some would call the "matrix" of the poem is this "Now," which has many implications that I'll leave to the reader to have the pleasure of unpacking. I do need to add that I've used "at once" and "now" to translate the Armenian Հիմա, because, while "at once" works for harvesting, dancing, and so on, it doesn't work when it comes to one of the ideas, dying. It's quite a sophisticated and beautiful poem, in my opinion, and yet another example of the extraordinary work coming out of Armenia today. And, again, readers should keep in mind that the goal of the present translation is to capture the logic of the poem, not its beauty, its rhetorical structure, in shorthand. You simply have to read it in Armenian for that.

Update: I didn't realize this before, but "հիմա," or "now" or "at once" if one wants to preserve the rhythm, is one of the things that the people were actually chanting in front of the French embassy. I heard it in the background in a video taken there either during or shortly before the police attacked (they didn't attack anybody at that particular location, but everybody outside).


Below I present my poem about the arrival of Spring [garnanamut] dedicated to our movement. I hope that it merits the attention of my singer-songwriter friend, and that he will try to write a stirring and inspiring song for these words. I recommend that the reader come to a short pause before the "now"s when reading the poem. The poem's rhythm requires this.


Bonfires of freedom, in the city of freedom,
Multitudes of warm fists, confronting the stinging cold,
We've been born in the springtime, spring is what we've sown
Our crop is bountiful, already: "At once, at once, at once."

Those are our wounds singing, pining for the fatherland,
We have shamed our Stone [foundation], lost it inadvertently,
But spring is coming, and again we are blooming,
The spirit of dancing has taken us, already: "At once, at once, at once."

Tents of brotherhood, in the warm bosom of Tumanian,
Day will not break today, daybreak's twilight will linger on,
They chop our hope to pieces, they wound our spirits,
We have risen in revolt, already: "At once, at once, at once."

Human barricades, the collision of spirit and fear,
The bullets behave toward us like a long-missed brother,
The hearts of eight brothers no longer beat,
The martyrs gasp, "Now, now, now."

In the maw of the prisons struggles our living breath,
Our voice cannot be chained, our song will not die,
On the street of freedom are there unwavering warriors,
"Struggle, struggle, 'till the end": "At once, at once, at once."


Parisan said...

The bird may hide that sings so well; I hear the beating of its heart: "At once, at once, at once."

Excellent work, intro, poem; thank you.

Anonymous said...

thank you for all your good work. one clarification, though. if Nikol weren't in hiding, he would not be in jail, he would be dead. on kocharyan's orders.

Anonymous said...

Very much respected? Pashinyan is the king of sleaze journalism in Armenia. Another paid hack who has furiously and hysterically tried to promote hate and divisiveness among the population.

Armen Filadelfiatsi said...

To Anonymous 4/8 3:44 AM.

Really? So according to what you are saying, he sits down and writes poetry, then turns around and writes "sleaze journalism" in order to "promote hate and divisiveness among the population."

Give me ONE example.

Anonymous said...

Pashinyan is the editor of a trash newspaper which fills its pages with character assassination, yellow journalism and rumor-mongering. It is a poor and uglier flip-side of state-sponsored media in Armenia.

Just follow his disastrous and embarrassing campaign for LTP for more 3-D examples of this clown.

Armen Filadelfiatsi said...

That's your example?

Repeating a claim does not evidence for the verity of the claim make.

So I'll ask you again, come up with ONE example of Pashinian editorship leading to a "a trash newspaper which fills its pages with character assassination, yellow journalism and rumor-mongering."

I'm waiting, and I'm not even moderating the comments. You are free throw your bombshell evidence. Give me ONE example.

Armen Filadelfiatsi said...

And, by the way, I'm sorry Parisan and anonymous 4/7 1:55 PM that the other anonymous had to drag his filth into this comments section linked to poetry, but I respect freedom of speech and have to let his words stand. Hopefully, he'll either come up with the one example that I'm asking for or go away.

Anonymous said...

Relax Kamilion - You are a free man, and can worship whatever hysterical imp you wish. How is this from a little way back (good to see where this mudslinger came from - coordinator of campaign for pro-Azeri Bleyan). BTW, I purposefully chose this assessment from a pro-opposition Human Rights guy IN DEFENSE of Pashinyan during a slander case, because you would kill the messenger if it were from the authorities...
"the Foundation in Defense of Openness considers that through his career as a journalist Nikol Pashinyan fairly frequently stepped out of journalistic ethical boundaries by publishing unsubstantiated articles, not confirmed with convincing facts. As a result of his professional career he was many times at a close call for the foul play."

in the original Russian
"...считает, что в течение всей своей журналистской карьеры Никол Пашинян достаточно часто выходил за рамки журналистской этики, публиковал непроверенную и неподтвержденную убедительными фактами информацию. В результате своей профессиональной карьеры он неоднократно оказывался “на грани фола”.

Anonymous said...

i agree. pashinyan is directly responsible for inciting the riot on March 1. hopefully, he has left Armenia forever. he can go write poetry from whatever cave he wants.

Armen Filadelfiatsi said...

According to Google, the "Foundation in Defense of Openness," the source of your quote, doesn't exist in the English language. In the billions of websites in the world, there is no "Foundation in Defense of Openness." Could you please clarify the identity of this source?

And If you could provide me with names and contact information, including yours, I would be grateful. It would help expedite criminal proceedings at the Hague. Thank you.

Armen Filadelfiatsi said...

And as far as "hysterical imps" are concerned, do you think a drunk, coked-up Seroj Sarkissian at Monte Carlo at 5 AM qualifies?

Anonymous said...

Armen - you and Nikol can write poetry to each other. Here is the article in its entirety:

Армянский ПЕН центр
Хельсинская Ассоциация
Марк Григорян – журналист

Фонд защиты гласности
Москва, 9 сентября 1999 г.

Армения: приговор суда лишает журналиста свободы


Судья суда первой инстанции ереванских общин Центр и Норк-Мараш - Паргев Оганян 31 августа с.г. обнародовал приговор по судебному делу, возбужденному против главного редактора газеты “Орагир” (“Дневник”) Никола Пашиняна. Согласно приговору, Никол Пашинян признан виновным по всем статьям обвинения:
- в распространении клеветы на страницах газеты “Орагир” в адрес жены депутата Национального Собрания Армении Арташеса Гегамяна - Ануш Пилузян;
- в распространении клеветы по отношению к кандидату в депутаты Норику Айвазяну и его сыну Вардану Айвазяну во время последних выборов в Национальное Собрание Республики Армения;
- в публичном оскорблении судебных исполнителей из Службы принудительного исполнения судебных актов общины Кентрон - Норк-Мараш и в препятствовании исполнению ими служебных обязанностей.
Учитывая молодость подсудимого, отсутствие судимости и находящегося у него на попечении одного несовершеннолетнего ребенка, суд постановил приговорить Никола Пашиняна к 1 году лишения свободы. Обвинение требовало 3 года лишения свободы. Согласно решению суда, главный редактор “Орагир” должен отбывать срок в трудовой колонии. Кроме того, Никол Пашинян обязан выплатить денежный штраф в 20-кратном размере минимальной зарплаты (100 000 драм при курсе 1$ = 535 драм).
В истории Республики Армения это первый приговор такого рода, когда к лишению свободы журналист приговаривается за публикации.
Судебный процесс стал своеобразным итогом противостояния главного редактора газеты Никола Пашиняна с оппонентами, среди которых были как государственные чиновники, бизнесмены, кандидаты в депутаты парламента, так и частные лица.
Началом этого противостояния стал судебный процесс редакции ежедневной газеты “Орагир” против министра внутренних дел и национальной безопасности Армении Сержа Саркисяна, который подал встречный иск против газеты и потребовал опровержений по ряду публикаций. Процесс проходил с 16 по 23 марта в суде первой инстанции Кентрон - Норк-Мараш г. Еревана. Суд решил отвергнуть иск газеты “Орагир” к министру и удовлетворить требования встречного иска.
Газета также проиграла дело в суде первой инстанции фирме “Мика-Армения” (дочернее предприятие компании “Мика LTD”) и должна была возместить ей ущерб, эквивалентный 25 тысячам долларов США, понесенный фирмой в результате расторжения договора с грузинской фирмой из-за непроверенной информации, распространенной “Орагир”. В результате по требованию истца 8 июня судебные исполнители наложили арест на имущество газеты “Орагир”. Это первый случай в Армении, когда издание газеты было фактически приостановлено не в результате давления властных структур (исполнительной или законодательной власти), а де-факто и де-юре судебным решением, принятым по гражданскому иску частной фирмы. Несмотря на это 23 июня газете были возвращены компьютеры, на которые, согласно решению суда, был наложен арест Службой принудительного исполнения судебных актов. Однако газета более не выходила в свет, так как на ее счет был наложен арест, а издательство “Парберакан” отказывало ей в типографских услугах.
22 июня против газеты выдвинул гражданский иск бывший кандидат в депутаты, заведующий кафедрой юридического факультета Ереванского государственного университета Норик Айвазян, который обвинил газету в том, что в одном из своих материалов, опубликованных 20 мая, “Орагир” опубликовал о нем клеветнические измышления. Истец требовал взыскать с газеты всю сумму денег, истраченную им во время предвыборной кампании (16 млн. 634 тыс. драм). Согласно статье 112 Единого избирательного кодекса он не имел права расходовать во время выборов сумму превышающую 5 млн. драмов. Кроме того средства предвыборного фонда кандидата составляли 299 900 драмов, тогда как в качестве возмещения требуется сумма, превышающая более чем 16 000-кратную величину размера минимальной зарплаты.
Тогда же прокуратура Армении возбудила дело по поводу публикации, касающейся Ануш Пилузян - супруги депутата Национального Собрания и лидера блока “Право и единение” Арташеса Гегамяна.
Фонд защиты гласности, поддерживая акции протеста и заявления ряда правозащитных и журналистских организаций Армении, считает, что в течение всей своей журналистской карьеры Никол Пашинян достаточно часто выходил за рамки журналистской этики, публиковал непроверенную и неподтвержденную убедительными фактами информацию. В результате своей профессиональной карьеры он неоднократно оказывался “на грани фола”.
Тем не менее, Фонд защиты гласности считает, что приговор суда первой инстанции о лишении свободы главного редактора “Орагира” Никола Пашиняна является опасным прецедентом для демократических институтов Армении, и обращается к судебным властям с призывом пересмотреть приговор и вынести решение (или постановление), не лишающее журналиста свободы.

Anonymous said...

Just out of curiousity, on a hate-blog like this, where you amuse yourslef making fun of, denigrating, and slandering Armenian public officials, exactly what did you have in mind regarding criminal proceedings at the Hague?

Armen Filadelfiatsi said...

I had in mind prosecuting government officials who have ties to the Armenian mafia. As in putting them in jail, your flimsy article from a KGB-backed newspaper article from a long time ago notwithstanding.

But let me get back to you on that, because my Russian isn't good enough to lavish the attention that your lies deserve.

Armen Filadelfiatsi said...

The last ten entries on my blog are eye-witness reports, poetry, philosophy, and people trying to manage under conditions of beatings, killings, house arrests, and what have you.

This isn't a "hate blog." The only hate here is coming from you.

Did you imagine that a clip from a KGB-backed source would change all that?

Armen Filadelfiatsi said...

Let's see.

Here is the full article in English. Same author, same year, same subject, Pashinian.

Unfortunately, for you, I know enough Russian to have been able to track this article down. The one you have is from the Helsinki Association. The reason why it appeared there is that the Helsinki Association was pointing out that Pashinian is being harassed. Just as the article below says where I've put the text in bold.

Nice try trying to fool people. We learned from this exercise that you lie, you try to fool people, and you do it incompetently: Are you Serj Sarkissian?


Armenia's appeal courts are to rule on the much-publicised case of a local
journalist accused of libeling the interior minister.

By Mark Grigorian in Yerevan

Armenia's court of appeal has begun reviewing the case of Nikol Pashinian,
the 23 year-old editor of Haykakan Zhamanak (Armenian Time), jailed for a
year after being found guilty of libeling a politician, his family and
colleagues, and for contempt of court.

The first journalist to be convicted for libel in an Armenian criminal
court, Pashinian's imprisonment has attracted widespread criticism from
human rights activists at home and abroad. The result of his appeal is
eagerly awaited as a test of Armenia's commitment to press freedom.

Pashinian has been rarely out of the courts this year. His legal problems
began in January when, as editor of Oragir newspaper, he sued the minister
of interior and national security, Serge Sarkisian, for slander.

Pashinian sought legal redress after Sarkisian, no relation to the murdered
Armenian prime minister, told a rival newspaper published by the
nationalist Dashnaktsutyun party, that a number of pieces on him carried by
Oragir were defamatory.

Before the court even began hearing Pashinian's case, Sarkisian
counter-sued, claiming that no fewer than 24 articles defamed him
personally as well as the general staff in his ministry. One article
proposed splitting the ministry of interior and national security into two
separate ministries - an idea that was later adopted). A second carried
interviews with two opposition politicians. Two more were reports of press
conferences given by Sarkisian.

But the court found in Sarkisian's favour and the judge ordered Oragir to
publish a full apology together with a retraction. Pashinian's first appeal
against the decision was quickly dismissed, and his paper suffered a
further setback in April when it was successfully sued in an unrelated case
for "material loss" by the "Mika-Armenia" company and ordered to pay
$25,000 damages.

Pashinian's problems mounted the following month when Oragir came out
strongly against Sarkisian's Country of Law Party, during the parliamentary
election campaign.

Media monitoring undertaken by the Yerevan NGO, Cooperation and Democracy,
reveal Oragir's combative stance on the elections. Of the 281 articles
Oragir published on parties during the election period, 168 were negative,
92 were neutral and only 11 were positive.

All 11 positive pieces were on the Armenian National Movement (ANM), with
which Oragir was known to sympathise. By comparison, almost every issue of
the paper was heavily critical of the Right and Accord" bloc, headed by
Artashes Geghamian and supported by Samvel Babaian, who was then
Nagorno-Karabakh's defence minister.

The paper ran a series of stories essentially rubbishing rival candidates
of a particular district who were running against the ANM nominee. These
essentially took the form of heavy-handed attacks on family members and
included the allegation that the son of one candidate, Norik Ayvazian, was
injured in a street fight and had the nickname 'Pig-Iron'.

Pashinian was once again accused of libel and once again found guilty. In
the meantime, Oragir had not yet published the court-ordered apology and
retraction. Nor had it paid damages to Mika-Armenia.

In June, the court gave Pashinian three days to comply with its orders or
face the consequences. However, just two days after the warning was made,
the court announced he was in contempt of court and ordered the
confiscation of Oragir property in lieu of the damages it had failed to pay.

Pashinian was sentenced on August 31 for his accumulated "crimes", but
remains free on appeal and is currently publishing a new paper, Haykakan
Zhamanak (Armenian Time).

Rights groups have condemned Pashinian's judicial treatment. A joint
declaration of the Armenian PEN Club and the Helsinki Association of
Armenia reads: "The number of actions brought against Oragir and its editor
Nikol Pashinian in 1999 is evidence of political persecution of a liberal
newspaper and its editor".

"In 1999 almost as many cases were brought against Oragir as against all
newspapers of Armenia from 1994 till 1998," stated Avetik Ishkhanian, a
prominent human rights defender. "This is evidence of political prosecution".

Pashinian has received international support from the PEN Writers in Prison
Committee, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and the Moscow-based
Glasnost Defence Foundation.

But his fellow journalists have not been supportive. "If the paper and its
editor had fought against the 'vendetta' on legal grounds rather than
political, it could count on professional support," wrote the Yerevan Press
Club in its Bulletin, No 5, 1999.

For its part, the Press Club claims that Pashinian, who is widely regarded
in the media community here as the 'enfant terrible' of Armenian journalism
for his aggressive reporting style, frequently violated journalistic ethics.

When questioned, however, the club's legal expert, Laura Baghdasarian, was
unable to cite a single provision of its ethics code that Pashinian had
supposedly violated.

Mark Grigorian is IWPR's project associate in Yerevan and Director of the
NGO Cooperation and Democracy.

parisan said...

Nicely debunked, Armen.

How sad that is to see Armenian trolls copying the style of the pro-Turkish, "negationists" who pollute the web with their endless misleading quotes and obvious lies -- in the name of what, of whom? Or should I just ask: For how little money?

Anonymous said...

Check out the poetry by Gagik Jhangiryan!! It is equally moving.

He wrote a sonnet to Lady Hakob!

Armen Filadelfiatsi said...

"Check out the poetry by Gagik Jhangiryan!! It is equally moving.

He wrote a sonnet to Lady Hakob!"

I can't find the poem in question. Can I have a link, please?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, you trashed these pathetic pseudo-intellectuals. Calling Mark Grigoryan a KGB is more than enough to diagnose paranoia. No matter how many times they change their color, no matter what garbage they eat, they have to know that enemies of Armenia will be identified. They can not hide and change their colors all the time. Pashinyan is a coward and undereducated author of hackneyed "poetry". They can squeak and squeak but the neo-Bolshevik "revolution" failed in Armenia.

Armen Filadelfiatsi said...

The paranoid part is you thinking anyone called Mark Grigoryan KGB.

You're obviously the same person who posted the article, coming back to congratulate yourself, in order to cover-up the fact that the article actually says Pashinian is being harassed by people who want to shut him up.

And hurry up and say goodbye because you're not going to come on here again, unless it is with the one example that I asked for a week ago.