Sylva Gaboudigian is one of the most famous contemporary poets in the Soviet Union, honored and loved by Armenians in her homeland and all over the world. Her recognition has included the prestigious Stalin Prize, and her poetry has been translated into more than twenty languages. The present volume offers a selection of her work appearing for the first time in English translation. It is a significant contribution to the forum of international poetry.
A most important theme of both the life and poetry of Sylva Gaboudigian is her dedication to the Armenian nation, encouraging and inspiring in her scattered compatriots an enduring loyalty to the history and future of the Armenian people.
It is in her love songs, however, that the charm and lyric beauty of the poetry of Sylva Gaboudigian can be most universally appreciated. They are an intimate autobiography—a mirror to the delicate shadings and intense passions of the poet's heart, reflecting common feelings in refreshing and uncommon expression.
With this translation, many of her most beloved songs—of love and of the homeland—are made available to a wider audience throughout the world.
About the Translator
Alice Odabashian is also an Armenian poet. Born in Bulgaria, she served as a translator for the government-owned publishing company in Sofia. Her most successful and celebrated work was the translation into Bulgarian of the poems of Sylva Gaboudigian.
Fourteen years ago, Alice Odabashian came to the United States, settling in Philadelphia. She taught herself English and found that writing in this new language gave her great pleasure. She has published a collection of her own poems entitled Songs foi You.
It has long been a dream of Alice Odabashian to see the works of Sylva Gaboudigian translated into English. With the approval and encouragement of the poet, she has worked with painstaking care and exceptional artistry to remove the barriers of language, to present the true spirit and poetic vision of Sylva Gaboudigian. Because of her loving efforts, our world is both widened and brightened.