Bedros Tourian (1851–1872) is generally acknowledged as the creator of the modern Western Armenian poetic language. Strongly inspired by the French Romantics, Tourian produced in the last few years before his death a corpus of forty-odd poems. They have been the touchstone and primer for generations of Armenian symbolists, decadents, and revolutionary realists.
Most of Tourian’s lyrics address the agony of unrequited love, illness, and the expectancy of death. But they also include visionary flights whose intricacy of language and imagery hark back to the earliest sources of the Armenian tradition.
Tourian’s complete lyrics are available here for the first time in English, along with an analysis of his poetics and roots and evocations of the fabulous polyglot metropolis of his birth.