Born May 29, 1866, in Elisavetopol’, now Kirovabad; died Nov. 13, 1937, in Tbilisi. Soviet poet, a founder of Armenian proletarian poetry. Member of the CPSU from 1904.
Born into the family of a craftsman, Akopian began publishing in the early 1890’s. His first collection of poems appeared in 1899. In 1902 he joined the workers’ movement in Transcaucasia. Enthusiasm for the revolution permeates such poems as “The Stoker” (1904), “Another Blow” (1905), “The Revolution” (1905), and “Dead, But Not Lost” (1906), such long poems as A New Morning (1909) and Red Waves (1911), and the battle songs “At Dawn” (1910), “The City” (1911), and “The Guardsmen” (1913). Akopian expressed his faith in the coming victory and praised the workers for their solidarity. He composed the resonant “Song of Labor,” which was described as “simple and threatening, like thunder.” The Bolshevik press called him the “Armenian Gorky” (Put’ pravdu, Sept. 13, 1914).
After Soviet power was established in Georgia, Akopian became commissar of the Georgian banks; he was elected a member of the Central Executive Committee of the Trans-caucasian Federation. The heroic spirit of socialist construction and the friendship of liberated peoples became the basic motifs of his poetry. His long poems Equality (1917), The Gods Began to Speak (1922), The Shir Canal (1924), The Volkhov Line (1925), and many others formed a hymn to the socialist revolution and Soviet order. In 1923 the honored title People’s Poet of Armenia and Georgia was conferred upon him. Akopian’s poetry has been translated into many languages.
WORKSHakobyan, H. Erkeri zolovacu, vols. 1–4. Yerevan, 1955–58.
In Russian translation:
Novoe utro. Izbr. stikhotvoreniia i poemy, 1895–1925. Moscow-Leningrad, 1928.
Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1951.
Sochineniia. Moscow, 1956.
Stikhi i poemy. Yerevan, 1960.
Stikhotvoreniia i poemy. Leningrad, 1962.
REFERENCESLunacharskii, A. V. “A. Akopian.” In Stat’i o sovetskoi literature. Moscow, 1958.
Sarkisian, G. A. Akopian. Yerevan, 1956.
Istoriia armianskoi sovetskoi literatury. Moscow, 1966.
Gyulnazaryan, X., and S. H. Manukyan. Hakobyani kyank’i ew gorcuneut’yan taregru t’yune. Yerevan, 1965.
S. A. MUNUKIAN