A Chronological Biography Compiled for Teryan.com Site
On 9th of February (New Style) the 11th child Vahan was born in big family of the village priest Sukias Ter-Grigoryan in Gandza, Akhalkalak district of Javakhk. The child was the future poet Vahan Teryan.
In order to obtain a reference on variola Ter-Sukias took 7 years old Vahan to Akhalkalak in 1892. Here Teryan first saw the trees.
Primary education Teryan received in Gandza. His first teacher was a native of Telavi Nikoghayos Khechoyan, a man with high education, about whom Teryan has made the warmest memories.
In September of 1895, he entered school in Akhalkalak. Winter holidays Teryan spent at home-village, and refused to continue his studies, experiencing deep frustration of urban life and the atmosphere that prevailed there.
Still in 1890, as well as 1895 Sukias Ter-Grigoryan had gone to Lazarian Institute for the admission of his son Vahan Ter-Grigoryan. In March Teryan passed the examinations in the First Tiflis Gymnasium, the reference about which is available. It is also known that prior to admission to this seminary Teryan had lived for two years in Tiflis together with his brother Aram.
The document, received from the seminary, dated June 2, has been saved: “As your turn has come, I have got the honor to request respectfully regarding the arrival at the Seminary on the 12th of August of current year your son, Vahan Ter-Grigoryan ... to take the exams ...”
The Lazarian Institute archive document states: "Scholarship holder of the Armenian churches Vahan Ter-Grigoryan. Born on the 28th of January, 1885 has entered the third class on the 14th of August, 1899”.
Together with his friends (Tsolak Khanzadyan, Poghos Makintsyan, Onik Ohanjanyan, Melkon Karamyan) Vahan Teryan issues a handwritten newspaper “Hope” In Lazaryan Seminary. "Vahan Teryan generally used to issue editorials in this newspaper. He also headed the department of poetry, where put his poems were being placed ", - has written in his memoirs M. Karamyan. Teryan’s pseudonyms in the newspaper were Shvin, Volo, etc.
On the 7th of April 1903 he wrote the first letter to his sister Nasho from Moscow (Nakhshun Ter-Grigoryan-Simonyan): “Everything is ok, I am healthy, and I wish You all health ...”
In May, 6th grade pupil of Lazarian Institute hardly seeks for means to visit his sick mother. Having borrowed money, he returned to Moscow. In October, Teryan’s mother, Yughaber Ter-Grigoryan, died. The death of the mother was one of the most terrible moments for Vahan Teryan in his life. Later he wrote series of poems in her memory, as well as the "Elegy" and "To the Stranger Girl”.
Avetik Isahakyan visited the Lazarian Institute in March. Av. Isahakyan later wrote in his memoirs: “I was surrounded by students, and Vahan was among them. They all used to ask me of different things, responding to the mine, too. Vahan was silent, not removing his eyes from me. When I was approaching him, he was coming into confusion. “Goodbye, - Vahan whispered, shaking my hand, - I am very glad to see You”. I gave him an invitation. Some days later Vahan visited Isahakyan with his friend and showed him one notebook, on which the word “Aryun” (Blood) was scratched with a knife. “Do you write bloody poems?” - Isahakyan asked. His doubts dispelled when in the end of the notebook he read “Nyura”. The name of Anna, daughter of the Director of the seminary, Wasilla (Barsegha) Gasparyan, was also Nyura; Teryan fed towards her most tender feelings.
In December Teryan moved to the Kursk Oblast (Region) owing to the donations of the tutors of the seminary to meet with his brother, Lazarus, where he was exiled with his family.
Beginning with February the lessons in the seminary ceased. In May Teryan went to the Caucasus. The summer he spent in his native village Gandza. Isahakyan was their guest for almost a week. Near Gandza, in the chapel of St. Hovhannes, they met with farmers who had come there from the neighboring villages to celebrate the “Vardavar” (Armenian national feast).
“Look at their sad eyes, troubled faces, burnt by the sun and rain. They do live in a bitter poverty, but they are happy. But what a sad joy it is! They are likely to sing funny songs, but how much grief and pain is in their cheerful songs. The centuries-old misery is on their lips. It can not be understood by our intelligent people, let alone strangers. From our new writers only Tumanyan and You, and nobody else, know it. Only a new song must be sung after You, or it is better to remain silent”, - recalled later Isahakyan.
On the 27th of August Teryan returned to Moscow, to prepare for the upcoming exams. As the seminary was closed in November-December of 1905, Vahan Teryan came back to his native Gandza. In late December, along with his friend Poghos Makintsyan he moved to Shirac: his goal was the Dashnak propaganda. After some time, having experienced deep disappointment, he wrote “From the Shirac fields”, “Bury me at the sunset”, “Melancholy”, "A sad talk”, “The word of farewell”, “Twilight”, “The sentimental song”, “The song of Parting” and other poetic works.
From Alexandropol, on the 9th of January, he writes to Sona Otaryan: “I have established closer relations with Avetik Isahakyan. He is very sincere and honest person, so this is a big plus for him. Avetik is communicative and emotional man; yes it is a man of moods, so one should not seek in him a systematic philosophical thinking. And his poetry is also an expression of sincere feelings”.
In February Teryan returned to Moscow. In late May he finished the Seminary, received the matriculation certificate. He spent summer in Moscow. On the meager funds he managed to rent a room and got a position at the Notary Office, with a monthly salary rate 25 rubles. However, the work was very hard, and soon he left it.
In August Teryan entered Moscow University, the Chair of Russian Language and Literature of the Faculty of History and Philology. On the 3rd of December, at night, the modest apartment of Teryan was rummaged. Onik Ohanjanyan was there, too. Although nothing was found, both were arrested. On the 13th of December Teryan was released from guardianship, but his friend remained in prison “as politically unreliable person": he was waiting for a trial. During this period Teryan wrote “Estonian Song”, “Autumn Song”, “Autumn Melodies”, “Heart cries for the past days”, “To the miracle girl”, “Desire” and other poems. In the journal “Murch” (“Hammer”), # 7, 9, 11-12 “Elegy”, “Estonian Song”, Bury me at the sunset”, “Autumn Song” were published.
In early May Teryan traveled from Moscow to Baku. Having got sick on the way, he stopped in Mozdok at his elder brother Lazarus. He stayed in Baku from May till late June at Al. Myasnikyan. In August he went to Gandza. In the letter, addressed to Onik Ohanjanyan, dated 29th of August, he wrote: “When the dusk falls down, the village becomes silent, and the cemetery silence reigns, sometimes violated by the barking of dogs. It seems that you are in the cemetery. And it is in twilight, when it so unbearably hard for the soul, it is “embraced” by the melancholy and the heart aches. And it seems that the night is infinite. You are in a mad desire to see a glimmer of light and capture at least some sounds, and you are afraid even of own voices. Melancholy, just an afterlife silence. Endless night ... I would have given everything, only to hear a native voice, someone’s unexpected greeting. You are a lucky man, Onik, you have a sister, and next to you is the man to whom you can trust your thoughts and dreams. How sweet and pleasant it is to be next to a man who can understand you, on the chest of whom you may lament the bitterness of unfulfilled dreams, hope and delusions. You are with a wonderful man. And there used to be such a man next to me, and he could understand me, if not ideologically, then mentally ...”
In fall of that year he wrote in Moscow the article “Moscow, 12th of December”, “The Conventional Theater”, which were published in the 16th and 20th issues of “The Independent periodic” in 1907. The Famous director of Moscow Arts Theater Konstantin Stanislavsky was also a graduate of Lazaryan Seminary. The students of the seminary were coming to the performances free of charge.
Teryan loved theater. During this period “Evening”, "14 Lines”, “The Autumn Sadness”, “The night went down from an immortal throne”, “Fatum”, "Song of Parting", "From the words of farewell”, "Nightmare”, "In October" and other poems were written by him.
On the 10th of March he writes from Moscow to Avetik Isahakyan about his impressions on the compilation "Songs and wounds": “You are my favorite Armenian poet, with your unique lyrics” (italic type of original). In a letter, addressed to Ts. Khanzadyan, he writes about his impressions of the lyrics of Tumanyan and about Tumanyan’s review on his poems: “In spite of its simplicity and openness he made an impression on me. There is something that lets me draw parallels with Goethe. Maybe it is the age or the calm, unflappable ease. Who knows ...” Tumanyan got acquainted with Teryan’s compilation “Dreams of twilight” which was being prepared for publication: “You are a poet, and it is the most important. You do not play with words. I am pleased to welcome your arrival in the literature, welcome! "( italic type of original).
“I met Vahan in Tbilisi, - wrote Av. Isahakyan. - He was about to publish his first poetry collection "Dreams of twilight”. Before that he had read these poems at Tumanyan, in the manuscript. He would read them to me, too, to listen to my sincere opinion. We were in a hotel room. He excitedly read them one after the other and worried more and more. I was listening to him with my whole soul and heart, and exclaimed: “Well done, Vanik jan, this is a very good clean lyrics. Vahan’s thoughtful eyes lit up with joy”. “Tumanyan was very pleased with poems, too, - said Vahan, - and your opinions are especially important for me. Now I am not afraid of criticism”.
From May till late August Teryan was in Gandza. In summer, in Tiflis Terian’s "Dreams of twilight" was published, about which Stepan Zoryan wrote: “Vahan Teryan is one of those lucky writers who one day wake up famous, and not occasionally, but because of the talent. His first collection "Dreams of twilight" glorified him as a poet, providing him with an honorable place in the Armenian Parnassus.
During the short period the followers of Teryan came to be known. The admirers were numerous. For some time we had forgotten the well-known poets. Anywhere and everywhere, in the evenings and with friends, at our homes Teryan’s sonnets and Elegy were read. The Teryan period had started, the era of Teryan. The air was filled with Teryan. The topics of conversation among young people were his poems, and friends and admirers used to give each other the collection of his "Dreams of twilight”.
In August V. Teryan and S. Otaryan wrote a letter to H. Tumanyan in connection with article of Tumanyan "Literary naught – critics”, addressed to Robert Drampyan and published on the pages of “Mshak”. In this they express their love and sympathy: "We, the undersigned, having read your article in “Mshak”, express our sincere sympathy and wish you excellent health, for You to be able to continue your literary work, as we ourselves are the admirers of your works, too. On this occasion, we express our heartfelt happiness as You are released from prison.
Our bows and compliments”.
During this period Teryan writes "The Street Song," "In the dark abyss of endless night", "Sad Song", "You have gone out, you're dead forever”, “I do not know, in this sad world”, “In a pink haze of irrecoverable world" and etc.
From January to April in parallel with the studies at Moscow University, Teryan edits and publishes the literary and artistic Almanac "Garun” ("Spring"). He writes a letter to Ts. Khanzadyan and Marta Miskaryan. From May to August he was in the Caucasus. He spent summer in Tbilisi, Akhalkalak and native Gandza. Making the translation from French original of "Salome" by Oscar Wilde, he subscribed to the Almanac "Garun” and worked on the issues regarding the publication of his second book. He writes a letter to K. Mikaelyan, Ts. Khanzadyan, M. Miskaryan. The first volume of the anthology “Garun” was issued.
Teryan published his articles "The funeral of Lev Tolstoy” and" In the Yasnaya Polyana " on 17-18th of November in N 256-257 of the newspaper "Horizon", in which the poet describes the funeral of the great Russian writer as a witness:" Even all Russia did not take part in the funeral of Tolstoy, but the entire world had to...”
On the 8th of December, on behalf of the Editorial staff of the almanac "Garun" he wrote to Tumanyan and requested to present for the publication some story in the second volume of the magazine. He writes "Forgotten Road", "Night", "I love the deep sorrow of your eyes ", "Mysterious Love", "The Return" and other poetical works.
The book by Arsen Terteryan "Vahan Teryan, singer, thirsty for madness and reconciliation" was published in Tiflis.
The article of Teryan "The word should be followed by the job" was published in January, in N 16 - 17 of "Horizon" in which he shared his thoughts on the translation. In February in Moscow Teryan married to Susana Pakhalova. Father of the bride was Karapet Kusikyan, the god brother – Ts. Khanzadyan. Among the participants of the ceremony were Al. Tsaturyan, Al. Myasnikyan, P. Makintsyan etc.
On the 19th of May, the editorial board of the almanac "Garun" Ts Khanzadyan, Al. Tsaturyan, K. Kusikyan, K. Mikayelyan, V. Teryan sent a telegram to Al. Shirvanzade in connection with the 30th anniversary of his literary work.
In June Teryan together with his wife went to Stavropol to visit her parents. In August he wrote from Moscow to M. Miskaryan: "You were asking me of my activities. I am ready for autumn exams (let them be damned!). I dream of finishing this all this year. Let's see, if it is possible. In addition, I am busy with the publication of my poetry, which will be quite a bulky volume. I am going to publish them soon, this fall”.
The letter to Ts. Khanzadyan, sent in November of 1911, states that Teryan together with Poghos Makintsyan has begun preparations for the publication of "Pantheon", organized a literary evening on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the literary activities of H. Tumanyan, attended by Barkhudaryan, Veselovsky, Zarifyan, Kusikyan, Makintsyan, Mamikonyan, Teryan. Members of Editorial staff of "Pantheon" sent a telegram to the poet.
During this period Teryan writes "The belated song”, “Like a bright spring cloud”, " Winter Night "," Irreversibility”, "No lamentation” and other poems, as well the second volume of the anthology "Garun” was published.
In June, in the letter addressed to Antaram, he wrote: "I have received a certificate of completion, will have a rest for some days and will begin my activities again. Antenka, I have got a lot to do: my activities are so much that one life is not enough”. From June to August he was in Stavropol, at the parents of his wife. He was translating the novel of Arthur Schnitzler "Mrs. Bertha Garlan” that time.
In October the translations of poems by V. Brusov “Sad night" and "Being alone”, made by Teryan, were published in the first and second volumes of "Prompter". November-December occurred to be very hard regarding the financial means. He was in Moscow that time, started to write a poem about Lazaryan Seminary, but it remained unfinished. In Moscow the first volume of "Poems" by Teryan was published, the cover of which was designed by Martiros Saryan.
The first volume of "Compilation" of Arthur Schnitzler, translated by Poghos Makintsyan, Avetik Isahakyan, Vahan Teryan, was published by “Pantheon" publishing house.
During this period Teryan wrote "Madness," "Whisper and murmur," Tonight, the wind again sighs”, " The Night”, " Sunrise”," Carousel "and other poems. The third book of the almanac "Garun” was released, too.
On the 30th of May Teryan reported V. Brusov that the translations of 10 of his poems, made by Teryan, together with sent by him photograph and a short essay on the works of the poet, were sent by him to Venice for the publication in the journal “Gegharvest”.
Signed: "Deeply respecting You and loving your poetry Vahan Teryan”.
In May Teryan wrote Ts. Khanzadyan that he had to pass 3 more exams to get a Diploma, but he was not ready, and therefore he had postponed it: "The soul is filled with poetry, I should write, as it is possible still and the flame of poetry is blazing in my heart, and has not fully dried out of vulgar household chores and abominations. I want to give freedom to the soul and mind, which so far have been tortured and oppressed”.
On the 9th of June he urgently goes to Stavropol. He writes to Tsolak: "In recent times, I do not know why, I do want to write, and I write several poems each day, still do not know whether those are valuable or not, it will be clear later, but now I can write and I do write. But so far I do not think about their publications. Decided to write a good poem, but there is no time. It requires a lot of time, and short poems, they do not take much time”.
In October he writes: "Three weeks, as I have come to St. Petersburg. I visited Marr; he forced me to enter the university”. In October Teryan entered the Faculty of Oriental Languages of St. Petersburg University with a monthly stipend of 50 rubles. He was studying the Armenian and Oriental Languages, and Nicholas Marr was his lecturer.
In November, he telegraphed to Tumanyan: "I am sick and short of money. I ask you, if it is possible, to get 150 rubles for me, I will give this money back. I hope you will protect me from the humiliation and unnecessary talks. I accept any material conditions. I am waiting for an urgent response by telegraph”.
In the letter, dated 11th of December, he thanked Tumanyan for the financial support, in which he also expressed his gratitude to the Society of Armenian Writers, as on the 28th of November during the event, devoted to him, Tumanyan had protected him. Teryan writes "Am I the last poet?", "For the favorite Paolo Makintsyan”, “The night has come again” and other poems.
On the 12th of January he sent a telegram to Tumanyan from St. Petersburg: Tiflis, to the honorable President of the Armenian writers.
Honorable Mr. Tumanyan,
I have received and was happy to read the note by the eminent board, which states that the general meeting of the Society of Armenian writers has shown me the honor by electing me its member. Let me express my warmest gratitude to the notable members of the Society. I would like to assure you that I will spare no effort to be helpful to the Society, to promote the development and success, as it must be the duty of every Armenian, who loves the Armenian literature. Your Vahan Teryan”.
On the 24th of January Teryan sends a telegram to the editor of Tiflis newspaper "Horizon" from Baku, which states: "Let it be known that the Armenian people for ever and ever will be grateful to Tumanyan. No word should obscure the crimson sun of our literature, it will shine as long as our people are alive and after its death, like the Aztecs Tettskoyotlu poet is, although his people have disappeared long ago…”
Terian’s approval was received from St. Petersburg. On the 29th of January Teryan sent a telegram to the editor of "Mshak”, in which he said he had no wish to cooperate with the newspaper, as it had written things against Tumanyan:" I can not hide my anger and must speak out against such actions unacceptable from the standpoint of literary ethics”. Since mid-February to early March, more than three weeks, he lays in hospital due to kidney disease.
In April Teryan went to Gandza. 74years old Ter-Sukias died.
On the 30th of April Teryan made a lecture on "The Future of the Armenian literature” in the Hall of the Musical Society of Tiflis. On the 24th of May he was expelled from St. Petersburg University because of the failure to pay for his education. In the second decade of June Teryan and his wife Susana went to Gandza.
Before returning to St. Petersburg they visited Khanzadyan family in Great Karakilisa (now Vanadzor). Tsolak Khanzadyan’s Wife, Varya, recalled how during walking through the city in full disarray and confusion Teryan was taking flowers from the admirers ... The evening, organized in a local summer club, is a new proof of an unusually warm attitude to Teryan: “The crowded hall was listening to the poetry of Teryan with an intense focus, read just by himself ...”
On the 20th of November the university administration to restored his student rights on the basis of statement, made by him.
In December in the letter to Nvard Tumanyan he wrote: "You can not imagine how my life goes on. It is not just everyday routine, it is being burnt by some bitter internal flame, and I am powerless here and not organic then"(italic type of original).
In the newspaper “Mshak” of 26, 27, 28 and 30th of December Teryan published his article "Spiritual Armenia”. Teryan writes the sonnet "St. Petersburg" and "Expromt”.
On the 2nd of April Teryan, in the letter addressed to Karen Mikaelyan, writes: "Yesterday I visited Maxim Gorky who invited me to discuss the literary works. He wants to issue "Armenian Collection" (with a solid introduction to Armenian literature), and has ordered me the compiling of this book”.
The tragic news of the Genocide of the Armenian people came in spring. In August Teryan writes to Tsolak: "I did not write about current events on purpose. You see, it is impossible to write about these horrors. I am at a loss, horrified. The news from Caucasus fills the heart with sorrow and sadness... They have got a devastating effect”.
On the 21st of July Teryan wrote to Gorky: "Dear Alex Maksimovic! The interlinear translation of "Pepo" by Sundukyan will be ready in one of these days. Please, tell me what I should do.
Should I send You the translation or come to You?
With love and respect
On the 8th of September in the letter, addressed to Antaram, Teryan writes from Musta Miaki: "I am now in Finland to visit Gorky. We are translating together "Pepo". From October to December he was busy with the translations into Russian and edition of the “Compilation of the Armenian literature”. He wrote the cycle “The Nairi Country ", the part of this cycle Teryan wrote in 1915 - " So sad and crying like, " You are not proud, my Fatherland”, " The vision calling from the haze”, “I think, I got back home”, " The thin trunk Nairian girl smiled to me "," How not to love you, my burned land”.
In early January Teryan came to Yerevan. P. Makintsyan was tutoring in the Etchmiadzin Gevorgyan Seminary. V. Brusov made a lecture on Armenian literature on the 8th of January in Baku. A dinner was given in honor of Brusov, during which he received a telegram from V. Teryan and P. Makintsyan: “Warmly and sincerely we do welcome our dear guest Valery Yakovlevich from The Nairi Land and gently bow our heads before Ioanna Matveyevna”. On the 18th of January Brusov makes lectures in Yerevan, where Teryan was introduced by Brusov to the public.
In April in Petrograd Teryan faced problems with his health. He was preparing for the examination on the Arabic language. Together with P. Makintsyan they planed to publish the 4th book of "Garun” that fall.
In May in the letter to Nvard Tumanyan Teryan writes from Petrograd: "The chest is aching, I am very weak and cough. Do not think that I have got "poetic" disease, i.e., tuberculosis. Oh, no, no. According to the doctor, there is no danger yet, but if I do not take measures, the disease will become threatening. The doctor said that it was necessary to go at least to Yalta (it is perfect, isn’t it?). Another misfortune here is now. Susanna gave birth to a daughter, which, unfortunately, has died, to my great sorrow, and the more Susanna.
In the letter to Ts. Khanzadyan in the second half of August he writes that translates the prologue to "The Knight in Tiger’s Skin" by Shota Rustaveli. In October in Petrograd he took the exam on the Arabic language. He sends Khanzadyan the translations of poetry by Ch. Baudelaire and his own poems "The brutal night has come", "In my bloody homeland" to publish them in Baku’s "Gorts” (" Case "). He complains about his poor health with regard to the deterioration of health. Expresses concern of the publication of the 4th book of the anthology "Garun” (which never was published).
Doctors advised to go to Sukhumi urgently to make heal the tuberculosis; however, before going to a sanatorium, he had to resolve the issue of the recruitment. On the 31st of December Teryan came to Yerevan.
On the 15th of January he passes a medical examination in Yerevan. Doctor Armenak Melikyan had written in the conclusion: "This certificate is given to living in Yerevan Vahan Sukiasovich Teryan at his personal request for the presentation to Yerevan Regional Military Commissariat: he had tuberculosis of right lung, during the study of sputum tuberculosis bacilli were identified in it, and this disease has been cured by me as well as other doctors. I can assure it by the personal seal and signature”.
On the 16th of January the Regional Military Commissariat confirms: "Ter-Grigoryants, Teryan Vahan Sukiasovich, (son of a priest, a resident of Moscow, born on the 28th of January 1885) during the recruitment in 1912 was recognized as unfit for the military service. During the follow-up surveys in Yerevan Regional Military Commissariat he was deemed unfit for military service, according to the article N 113.60 A of the 16th of January 1917. "In January of 1917, in the letter to his elder brother, he writes:" These are the last days of my life. My dear Ghazar, to die is not painful, but dying now is a double death ... So much unfinished... All this is not true, my dear Ghazar, lies ... All cheat me, but pain, it is strangling me”.
On the 18th of January Teryan made a lecture on the development of style and language of the new Armenian poetry in Yerevan City Club. In the end of the evening he read “The Gazelle farewell”.
On the 7th of February he moved to Sukhumi Koshku Sanatorium to recover his health.
In the letters dated 11th of February, addressed to Margarita Shakhatuni, Ts. Khanzadyan, H. Tumanyan, K. Mikaelyan, he complains about the bad mood and health, speaking of the literary issues, too.
He asked Stepan Zoryan “Mshak” issues to the sanatorium. Focusing on the February Revolution, he writes to M. Shakhatuni: "Recent events are so exciting that it is not that You can not just write about them, You simply can not be calm. Due to this repulsive disease, I have to be in this remote place now and not in St. Petersburg. However, if I was in St. Petersburg, I would have witnessed at least the events, if not to participate in them”.
On the same day he telegraphed to H. Tumanyan: "Urgent, Tiflis, Voznesenskaya 18, for Tumanyan from Sukhumi ... I ask the Chairman of the writers through Tiflis authorities urgently to appeal to the local authorities in order to protect me from abuses by doctor Schulz and director of the sanatorium. Not knowing anyone here and being sick, I am helpless, weak, Teryan. With the help of Tumanyan the conflict was resolved.
In March he sends to Avetik Isahakyan 2 copies of the “Compilation of Armenian literature” from Sukhumi. “My health is much better - he writes to Ts. Khanzadyan - but I still should be cured. I will move to Tiflis in some days, and from there, perhaps, go to the village. The coup astonished me ... and the heart is being torn from the fact that I can do nothing”.
In the issue of "Mshak”, dated 11th of April, under the headline “Local News" we read the following: “Poet Vahan Teryan returned to Tbilisi from Sukhumi, who had held a course of treatment there for more than two months. His health has improved, and we can assume that the danger has passed”. Teryan writes two quatrains devoted to R. Zardaryan, dated the spring of 1917.
In May Teryan’s second daughter was born who lived, probably, until April 1918; she died in Stavropol, where Susanna had moved to with him from Petrograd. Teryan devoted a cycle of poems to her called "My daughter". From April to August he was in Gandza. The life-giving air of motherland and caring mother helped him to recuperate. He writes the letter K. Mikaelyan, St. Zoryan, intends to travel to Petrograd. In a letter to M. Shakhatuni he writes: "How sad it is, my beloved, I am leaving the Caucasus, haven’t seen You. Generally, I leave homeland with sadness and some disturbing feeling. I am now so sad, but at the same time I am somehow relaxed, as if I am dead, like I am no longer alive, and have become a shadow, a memory. “Your Vahan Teryan”, I write to all who I do love and those who have been gentle with me. "Vahan Teryan”, is it me? And really, what a dead man I am!
He was concerned about the translation of the Tolstoy’s novel "War and Peace", the first volume of which had to be translated by him, the second one by St. Zoryan, the third one by Derenik Demirtchyan and the fourth by Arshavir Khondkaryan. He says that has translated one hundred pages.
In mid-August Teryan moved to Petrograd, where he wrote to St. Zoryan regarding the translation of the second volume of “War and Peace”, adding that: “I do not intend to go from here yet, and will do so only if all leave (if the Germans conquered the city), or in case of starvation. Nothing of the above mentioned, fortunately, now is here"(italic type of original).
St. Shahumyan offered him to work on “What does Lenin say about the land of peasants?”
In November in the letter, addressed to one of his friends, he writes: "I am offered a position in the Ministry of National Affairs. I have not yet decided. Perhaps I will begin to work in the Armenian section of the Ministry of National Affairs. It will be interesting. I can not refuse because the need of intelligent power as well as the party ethics does not allow doing such thing now, when the dark forces make sabotage, to refuse to serve for the government of workers and peasants. So, I must take one of the proposed positions”. (italic type of original)
On the 29th of November Teryan received the following note, signed by Lenin: “It is offered to show any kind of support in the admission of the documents of the Caucasian Commissariat to the Commissioner of Mariinyan Chamber, comrade Teryan”.
In November-December Teryan presented to the Council of People's Commissars the project "Report on the Turkish Armenia" and "Decree of Armenia". In this regard he met and talked with Lenin. "Lenin is very bright and wonderful ... and an openhearted man," - writes Teryan to P. Makintsyan. In late December the People's Commissariat of National Affairs opened the Commissariat for Armenian Affairs, too. Chairman of the Commissariat was appointed Varlam Avanesov and his deputy - Vahan Teryan.
On the 29th of December the Council of People's Commissars adopted a decree on the Turkish Armenia. Teryan writes the series "Cat's Paradise", finishes the cycles "Gold chain" and "Country Nairi”.
On the 11th of January Teryan received a certificate, signed by Lenin: "This sealed document is to certify that the bearer of this document, the member of the Board of Commissariat on the Armenian Affairs, is authorized to be the member of the delegation by the Council of People's Commissars as an adviser, which is negotiating in Brest-Litovsk, as one party with the Russian Republic, and as the other - with the "Triple Alliance for the signing of the armistice”.
On 12 - 24th of October Teryan is participating in the peace negotiations in Brest-Litovsk as adviser to the Soviet delegation.
On the 25th of January he returned to Petrograd to take to Brest the materials on the “Armenian Question”. On the 26th of January he wrote his wife Susanna from Petrograd, who, together with the daughter, was sent by him to Stavropol: "Yesterday I got back from Brest. It is clear that despite all my work, every time I think about you and about my Lyaska (daughter). Be nice, my beloved, I am really asking you, do not despair, trust in God, everything will be fine. What happiness it will be, if I come back (of course, as soon as possible) and see you healthy and joyful. So take care of you and my baby, and be still”.
In the issues of the Baku Committee’s “Banvori khosk” (“Worker’s Word"), dated the 27th of January and the 16th and 24th of February Teryan’s work "What does Lenin says to peasants?" was published.
In March 1918 the capital was moved from Petrograd to Moscow. In March-April he writes from Moscow to Stavropol: "Should I write about what kind of flour is causing me to be away from You and the uncertainty regarding You. I am even scared to ask of my Lyaska. I can not visit You now both form moral aspect, as well as collegial and terms of discipline. I think my duty, despite the hardships, is to endure and not to leave my post at this point. I hope that after some time I will be able to visit You with a calm conscience. I will say only one thing, believe that during those two months I have experienced so much grief and sorrow, I had not ever faced throughout all of my life”.
In April-June Teryan was occupied with the issues regarding the most important public documents in Moscow: the organization of publishing, the improvement of Lazarian Institute and the Armenian refugees support issues.
On the 22nd of June, edited by V. Avanesov and V. Teryan, the official paper of the Commissariat for Armenian Affairs weekly “Communist” was released. The newspaper published the Soviet government decrees, decisions, speeches of Lenin, reports and articles, as well Teryan’s “Letters to the Armenian peasants and workers”.
On the 29th of July the medical-care team, headed by Teryan, was sent to the Northern Caucasus and Volga region to help the Armenian refugees. Teryan was hoping to go to Stavropol from there to visit Susana. In the second half of August they came to Astrakhan. Teryan stopped at the apartment of his comrade from Lazarian Institute - Nikoghayos Varagyan.
From 31st of August to 5th of September Teryan was occupied in Piatigorsk with the support issues to the Armenian refugees, providing them with financial means and clothing, with the help of doctors he organized the medical care for refugees, eliminated “Armenkom”, headed by ARF, formed a new department, staffed by his people, devoted to the Soviet Union, made the draft of the activities of the department.
On the 6th of September in Yessentuki Teryan meets poet H. Hovhannisyan. At this time Teryan had to stay in Astrakhan for nearly a month. Here in Astrakhan, he faced problems with health and lay in bed for almost a month. He was not able to meet with his wife because Astrakhan was occupied by “White Guardsmen”.
In mid-October “Sick and tortured by cough Teryan left Astrakhan”, - says mother of Nikoghayos Varagyan Manushak. On the 25th of November Teryan wrote a summary report on the activities of the Commissariat for the Armenian Affairs in Moscow. Lenin's work “Karl Marx: Brief biography and description of Marxism”, translated by Teryan, was published in Moscow.
In the beginning of the year Teryan’s work “What does Lenin say to peasants?” was published in Moscow as a separate volume. On the 4th of March Sovnarkom adopts the decree of the Armenian Institute in Moscow, signed by V.I. Lenin. The transformation activities of the Lazarian Institute into the Armenian Institute were headed by Teryan. In 1919 the sick poet was visited by the representative of ARF Government doctor Zavriev, who invited him to go for rehabilitation course to Switzerland and promised to assist. Teryan flatly refused. He spent June in the Moscow suburbs, in Sokolniki in Chetverikov Sanatorium, where he wrote touching poems about Anahit Shahinjanyan.
17 years old Anahit Shahinjanyan was originally from Derbent. In Moscow she studied at the Department of Mathematics of the Faculty of Natural Sciences of women's higher courses. In connection with the revolution the courses were closed and she came to work in the literary department of the Commissariat for the Affairs of Armenia, where she established close relations with Teryan. Since 1919 they have lived together. Anahit is the mother of his only daughter Nvard, who was born in Moscow, after 3 and half months after the death of Teryan, on the 28th of April 1920, and died on the 12th of October 1978, in Moscow, one month after the surgery, for which she had gone there.
Teryan and Anahit lived in Moscow, at the Hotel “Metropol”, where he finished the translation of Lenin's work “State and Revolution”. Despite the big problems with health, Teryan, haggard libel and gossip, had to leave the capital. According to an important and urgent task by Sovnarkom on Foreign Affairs, he was preparing to leave for Tashkent and Andijan. In Uzbekistan he was hoping to see his elder brother, Lazarus, and thanks to the care of his family in a warm climate to recover his health.
On the 3rd of October he received a certificate from Sovnarkom of Foreign Affairs, signed by M.I. Kalinin: “Sovnarkom of Foreign Affairs confirms that the bearer of this, the member of the All-Russian KCG Vahan Sukiasovich Teryan on an urgent and very important task of Sovnarkom of Foreign Affairs is being sent to Tashkent via Samara and Orenburg. All military, civil and railway authorities are suggested to support Comrade Teryan on his way to the final destination”.
Anahit Shahinjanyan, who was in a family way, expressed her willingness to accompany Teryan.
On the 13th of October they left Moscow.
On the 20th of October in Samara Teryan wrote to the chief of military messages: “Being sent to Tashkent, and then to the East (Turkey and Iran) by Sovnarkom of Foreign Affairs to perform a particularly important and urgent task, I had to stay in Samara because the sickness. At the moment, wishing to continue my way, I ask you to provide me with a double room in the first class carriage to Tashkent. The extreme urgency and vital importance given to my request, give me the right to expect that this statement will be considered by you promptly and satisfied out of turn”. (italic type of original)
In Samara, on the 31st of October Anahit writes: "I was at the Frunze. He (Teryan) went to a meeting of Provincial Executive Committee, returned late at night, and with temperature. The weather is wet, frosts have not yet hit. On the next day he got worse. On the 8th of November she writes: "The doctor came, examined his throat, said that the danger was not so big, and in three days he could continue the way to Tashkent. In my proposal to return to Moscow Vahan said that the money was spent and nothing done and return on the halfway was impossible”.
In November 1919, in Samara, he wrote his last verse: “I'm drunk, and I am drunk ...” On the 22nd of November they were sent to Orenburg from Samara in the military hospital train. On the 13th of December the train stopped at 9 km from the Orenburg, stood there until the 18th. “On the 19th of December, I went to Orenburg - continues A. Shahinjanyan - to get to another train. All was ok then. The next day we had to go, but the temperature rose to 40, 8. I went out and when returned he was already writing me a letter, thinking that would die before I am back. I realized that it is impossible to continue the way, offered to stay in Orenburg, at my friends, Ohanyans. He had suffered much without me on that day and said: “Do whatever you want, but save me from death”. In Orenburg we went on a sledge. When we came, he was nearly unconscious, but comfortable home conditions and family warmth regained his strength. Before the evening of the 20th of December he felt good. There was a piano in the room. He made me play all day long. Beginning with the 30th of December another doctor, his friend, started to visit him. The temperature fell to 35, 6. Because of problems with the intestines he could eat nothing. He even could not move in bed”.
On the 4th of January the temperature began to fall, on the 6th of January a council was convened by the Health Care Department, which consisted of 3 doctors. They said that nothing was possible to do, waiting for death any minute. Throughout the night, from 6th to 7th of January, he never batted an eyelid. Several times he asked for help to get dressed and sit in an armchair, but he was so weak and depleted that could not sit even for 5 minutes. The hands and feet were cold, he asked to grind them. At this moment he was surprisingly calm.
I was crying. Looking at my eyes, full of tears, he asked not to and then asked: “What do you think, to whom is it worse, for the one who dies, or relatives who remain alive?” His whole body was too cool. He could not have anything to drink, spoke with difficulty, in spite of all this, repeated: “Let’s go, quickly go to Moscow ...." In the morning I went for the nurse. During the injection he was talking and suddenly asked: “Is it possible to extend the life via injections for one more week?" After the introduction of the camphor he was almost for two hours in conscious. He was visibly excited, it seemed eerie cheerfulness had found on him, and the pain eased. Then he asked me to sit quietly nearby and not to weep. I sat quietly nearby, he quietly lay down. He was looking for something in the air with wandering eyes. In the last moment he just raised from the bed: "Where is my briefcase? I'm falling”, - he said and closed his eyes.
So, in the cool January day, accompanied by a small group of people, Teryan was silently put to cold Orenburg land.
And only in the beginning of March “Mshak” printed the following in the “Recent Events”: From reliable sources, we have received a message that the poet Vahan Teryan has passed away”.
In 1940, the Union of Writers of Armenia sent the specialist of literature in Sako Sukiasyan to Orenburg. It occurred to be difficult for him to find the house in which the poet lived his last days. With the assistance of local authorities the marble plaque, brought by him, was installed on the facade of the house. There was an inscription in two languages Russian and Armenian: "In this house Armenian poet Vahan Teryan spent his last days. Member of VKP(b) and UKWA”.
To clarify the burial place was not possible. He found no one, who had been present at the funeral ceremony of the poet. The old tomb was abandoned. In its time at the tomb of the poet there was put a wooden cross with a brief inscription. He was buried in the very year in which typhus fever had claimed thousands of lives, not counting the fallen soldiers during the Civil War. From the story of Sako Sukiasyan we learn: "Before leaving Orenburg I wanted once again to visit a piece of land, which keeps in itself the dust of our dear and beloved poet. Covered with sad memories, I walked through the old cemetery of Orenburg. I did not step on any abandoned tomb and remembered the lines of Teryan, he had written in 1914 still.
The Museum of Glory after Vahan Teryan as well as the Club of Young Friends of Teryan operates in Orenburg secondary school # 24 after Gorky up today, which annually from 6th of January to 9th of February (from the date of death until the day of birth) announce a month of events, dedicated to Teryan in the Orenburg Region.
In 1964 the authorities of the city had invited the daughter of Teryan Nvard to Orenburg. During the ceremony she had taken a handful of earth from the territory of the former cemetery and brought and buried in Yerevan Pantheon after Komitas. Near the tombs of other great representatives of the Armenian people there is one more, dear to our hearts tomb with a black granite tombstone. This symbolic tomb of Teryan has become a place of pilgrimage, which is annually visited by our compatriots on the 9th of February at 13:00. They bring flowers and read touching poems of our favorite poet.
Nvard died in Moscow on the 12th of October 1978. The urn with her ashes is buried in the vestibule of the church in Gandza. The cross stone, made by Ara Shiraz, is put on the tomb, on the reverse side of which the poems of her father are engraved, as Nvard had wished.
The house-museum of Vahan Teryan was opened in 1957 in Gandza and since 1967, annually, in the penultimate Sunday of July in the village adjacent to the valley the Day of Teryan Poetry is held with the participation of people from Armenia, Georgia and other places, as well as special delegations and thousands of admirers of his poetry.