He was also a Musician. The musical keyboard of Armenian poetry was tuned based on his Note, the Armenian childhood began from his Word, which was played as an introduction to the music score of Mashtots, and his Thought served as a tuning fork of Armenian culture, being as a musical phrase spoken by his contemporaries. Infinitely, apostle-like astral and earth-like alive, exquisitely noble and exquisitely easy-going, completely devoid of marble statuary of a classic, brown-eyed laughing young old man. His genius is natural, like his light walking-stick, like the all-time snow-white collar from beneath the black three-piece suit on the photo.
He wrote down the lines, hastily dictated from the Above, in his bird handwriting on pieces, scraps of paper; and crumpled in handfuls, like non-melting snowballs, scattering generously, returning them to the sky - which means to eternity. As an experienced gardener, he entered the garden of the Armenian Word, carefully cutting off the Past, planting new rhymes like young scions. He worked magic with phrases as a magician; and we are ungifted and wordless, reading him as if remembering something long forgotten and being happy, like in childhood, gaining what was lost.
He came from childhood and cherished this country. He cherished it like the old forester guards his enchanted forest. Familiar with every blade of grass, he heard and understood the rustle of leaves, knew the language of animals and birds. "Was it or not, I happened to hear this from my old folks, the old folks from grandfathers, and the grandfathers from their old folks" - he began his story, and Childhood listened to his tales with bated breath in forty languages of the world. About a sneaky cat and a poor dog, a skillful liar and a lazy girl... "My father had a bludgeon with which he stirred the stars", "Forgive me, heavenly king, forgive me for being late. Yesterday the sky was ripped apart by a lightning, so I went to sew it up!"
In his poems the watercolor of childhood is intertwisted with the great pastel of love:
"I admire the pale roses at the game that lit up on your cheeks
And the melancholy of peace
Two black and deep eyes ...
But I have no power to keep it, I have no strength in myself to carry it,
How not to say about this happiness,
How not to tell about my love!"
And throughout life, like a bullet going through, there is black and white hard graphics of pain. It is in the wrenching cry of the duduk, the madness of Anush, the great sorrow of its people:
"I'm coming to you, my old grief.
You nurtured me when I was young
And whispered in my ear, as if delirious,
And then it was no longer restful..."
How accurately Akhmadullina translated and understood him:
"Nobody knows the degree of longing
Into which the poet's mind ascended.
But here's the line. And in the dark lines
His sorrow has the visibility of light..."
The descendant of the ancient impoverished princely family of Mamikonyans was born in the village of Dsekh, which once belonged to his great-grandfather, in the family of the priest Ter-Tadevos (this "Ter" leads him throughout all his life). Then a school in Tbilisi. A clerk in the consistory of Terter, the second foster father who saw in the future priest a husband for his Olga. He was 19, she was 17. The age of their eternal, never matured love.
10 children. 4 sons, 6 daughters. He, who praised Russian, the most peaceful, deprived of dragons and animals, crest "Hammer and Sickle", he never learns about the death of his sons in the Stalinist repressions, and all his legacy will be collected bit by bit by his daughters. But this will happen later; and for now there are a united family, poetry, translations, a small room in his office, a table, on the table - kishmish and lablabu (fried chickpeas). This is the club Vernatun founded by him. The literary aristoi gather here, Vernakans and Vernanushi: Armenian, Georgian, Russian writers; Russian newspapers and magazines are subscribed here, a thought from distant Russia is sensitively and eagerly caught here.
In 1916, Valery Bryusov, the founder of Symbolism, came to Tiflis to give lectures on Armenian poetry and literature. After reading his translation "Before Aivazovsky's Painting", interrupting the applause, Bryusov turns to the audience: "For him, for him applaud, he is an old man - wizard, Ivan". And the old man - wizard Ivan answers Bryusov:
"And the poet is right when he predicted the run of
Times - in the bright and desired age,
Where a person loves a person,
Where a person is happy with a person."
In 1917 there was an acquaintance with Konstantin Balmont. Being not able to hold his admiration, Balmont writes in the "Armenian Fiction Writers" collection, translating his "Concert" and after "Akhtamar":
"For you, Hovhannes Tumanyan,
A melodious gift from God is given,
And you are not only shining with radiant glory among the Armenians,
But your smart mascot
Thrown far distant into Russian countries."
The closest friend of the Poet, who became a brother, the correspondent of the "Russian Word", officer Sergei Gorodetsky. During the days of genocide, the Poet addresses him, the only one who by the nature of his employment can cross the border, with a shout, with a cry of pain: "But there must be an end to evil!". Here are the lines from his letter: "Gather, save the children. They wander there, become unsociable. We will set up a shelter". And sends his son Artik to Van together with Gorodetsky. Risking his life, the Russian officer takes out the hungry, wounded, miraculously surviving Armenian orphans from Western Armenia on cart under bullets. How many of them were saved by an Armenian poet and a Russian officer! And how many more there will be!
Throughout the whole life, marked with this mark "Ter", he carries his strict Armenian cross, on which his charred, smoking conscience is tormented:
"You call me from morning till dark
Innumerable suffering and difficult fate,
On the wings of inspiration, home country,
I'm rushing fast to meet you!"
But unbroken, undefeated, he again believes, believes fervently and passionately, like a young man in love, in a better future for his motherland:
"In fiery clothes, the dawn of future days will come,
And there will be hosts of bright souls - like the shine of its rays
And the joyful rays of life will illuminate with a smile
Tops up to the sky of rising mountains, sacred Ararat!"
Hovhannes Tadevosovich Tumanyan ... He remains with us to this day.
Framing the monasteries of Kobayr Vanka, sinking in the green gaps of the mountains on the banks of a shallow fast river, the small town of Tumanyan basks in the rays of the mountain sun. Every morning the street named after him is buzzing, freezing in today's Kiev traffic jam. His houses-museums in Georgia and Armenia are kept silent, his translations are arguing vying with each other in the forty-language polyphony. And every year, on February 19th, in the small village of Dsegh, people come to the courtyard of a modest house where his heart is buried. They come from the surrounding Lori villages, come from distant cities and countries. They go to Tumanyan's day, as they once went to Vernatun with raisins and chickpeas, and after centuries they are met again by a hospitable host. He had just been mixing the stars by the will of his Heavenly King, and in order to put an end to evil, he had been darning the sky of his native Armenia, torn by lightning; and now, smiling at us today, in the rustle of foliage over the grave, he seems to whisper:
"We say: blessed is your hour! Live, children, but happier than us!"