By Edmond Y. Azadian
Sixty-five years have elapsed since his death and the recognition of his legacy is universally expanding and his vision is living. Indeed, poet Vahan Tekeyan passed away on April 4, 1945 in Cairo, Egypt.
He closed his one and only eye to the world, his other eye having fallen victim to his political adversaries. He was an early casualty for the cause of freedom of speech as thugs beat him to death in 1916 for an editorial he had written. But he survived with one eye blinded. Later on he composed one of the most disturbing and movingly tragic poems about his eye titled, “My Only One.”
He was a taciturn and bitter man, ahead of his time, and not fully understood by his contemporaries. He was a virtual recluse in the crowds, on whom a leadership role was thrust.
He was a poor man in terms of materials, however, despite his role in the community, he had left a will behind asking to be buried quietly; no eulogies, no fanfare, no special honors. Perhaps, deep in his heart he was convinced that no one could grasp his soul, his being, his vision to encapsulate in a eulogy.
His coffin was lowered into his grave, one flower dropped on his heart and a handful of soil from Armenia, where he longed to live his last years and be buried in the land of his ancestors.