Yeghishe (Soghomonian) Charents, Greatest Eastern Armenian Poet

Yeghishe (Soghomonian) Charents, Greatest Eastern Armenian Poet

“O, Armenian people, your only hope for salvation is in your unity.”

Who he was

Yeghishe Charents became the leading voice of the Armenian Nation as it realized that its hope for salvation under the auspices of the Soviet Union were in fact a new form of oppression. 

Born in Kars (present-day Turkey), he volunteered for the Armenian division in the Russian Imperial Army and was an eyewitness to the Armenian Genocide. 

Charents was a zealous Bolshevik in his early years. He believed strongly in the revolution and in the liberation of oppressed peoples. Much of his early poetry, even if laced with Armenian themes, propagated the idea that communism was the solution. However, his orthodox devotion to the principles of communism were jarred by the realities of politics and he grew progressively uncomfortable with the hypocrisies before him. 

His revolutionary zeal was curtailed by the realpolitik of the Soviet Union, which chose to make deals with Turkey at the expense of Armenia and Armenians. He channeled his disillusionment into nationalistic sentiment. 

He was a genius whose love of humanity caused him great pain and lead to a lifelong pursuit of justice through lofty ideals pronounced by orators but never realized. He thus poured the fire from his heart onto paper, and it ultimately consumed him. He was jailed, tortured and disappeared, believed to have been killed by the Soviet authorities.

Charents was the personification of the Armenian people in the post-Genocide era: emerging from hell and hopeful for the progress that communism promised, but ultimately a tragic martyr at its very hands. 

Interesting fact

Charents was married twice. His first wife died in childbirth and when his second wife had their first child, a daughter, he named her Arpenik in honor of his first wife.