Tuesday, May 30, 2006

AnnyRose Nahapetian: Բացակայ/Absent




If you are forced to leave your homeland -- part of you stays behind
Your childhood, street, school, your red kite

It's illusive, like not willing to die

You are lying dead but you rise and you turn in order to look to yourself
Do you recognize You?
You ramify in thousand memories, thousand dreams

Very often you stick to the memories

To the moments that sometimes are a dream

Dreams which are so close that they look like reality

Or reality so far that it looks like a dream

You loose connection
In dissension
You are split in a thousand branches

No matter why, there is always a gap, a distance

There is always someone who is not there

You look in to the hollow, colors are recognizable,
but often not matching with the smell

The albums are full of pictures, and the apostle gifts are often kept unused
Envelops, the letters...... The stamps, the smell of old leather of a purse
and note books that belonged to Mum or Dad


All pieces are kept so well, because each piece has
the soul of a beloved one.

A colored hollow.


AnnyRose Nahapetian
Dedicated to, "Layered Lives: "Iranian Armenian Identity Through Contemporary Arts",
Amsterdam. 2005

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Arshile Gorky: Sing when you receive this letter


Click to hear Sing when you receive this letter, read by Lola Koundakjian.

In homage to Karlen Mooradian, Gorky's nephew, biographer and translator of his letters. Culled by AG's letters by Harold Kulungian, 1991.


Sing when you receive this
And recall our mountains!
Would that we were together
So that we could sing of the homeland!
I believe that you all are here
And that we are singing sad songs
Together as I paint.

Dance the Shadakhtzi dance
And I will join you!
Sing of Van and I will hear you!
Sing the mountains and I will
Climb them with you!
Sing of sorrows
And I will grip your hand!

Sing of Van, sing of apricots
And wheatfields, of plows,
Sing of songs!
Oh, Moorad, sing
When you receive this letter--
Sing, Kasheh gutan ari yar vaile lele.(Pull the plow, Oh come my sweetheart).

_________________________

This poem has appeared in the Winter 1994 issue of Ararat Quarterly Magazine. Used here by kind permission.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Lola Koundakjian: After the Exhibit/Գիշերը՝ ցուցադրութենէն ետք

Click to hear After the Exhibit, read by the author, Lola Koundakjian.

Գիշերը՝ ցուցադրութենէն ետք

Ի՞նչ կը կարդաս.
Ինչու՞ կը կարդաս.
Ըսէ՛
Բացատրէ՛ այդ ծարաւը

Գիշերը կը քնանա՞ս։
Պատմէ երազներդ, երաժշտութեամբ.

Նայիր – երեսս կը ժպտի – քեզ համար։

Մայիս 12, 2006


Here is the translation.

"The evening, after the exhibit
What are you reading?
Why do you read? Tell me!
Explain that thirst...
Do you sleep at night?
Tell me your dreams, with music
See, I am smiling, for you."

Copyright, Lola Koundakjian, 2006

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Lola Koundakjian: You speak with your hands

Կը խօսիս ձեռքերով
Բայց աչքերդ ուրիշ բաներ կ՛ըսեն.
Շրթներդ կը ժպտին
Բայց աչքերդ հակառակը կը մատնեն:

Լօլա Գունտաքճեան – Մայիս 16, 2006

This poem has appeared in PAKIN Armenian literary journal in its September 2009 issue.

"You speak with your hands
But your eyes tell me something else
Your lips smile
but your eyes betray them."

Translated by the author

Copyright Lola Koundakjian 2006

Monday, May 15, 2006

Gregory Djanikian: I Ask My Grandmother If We Can Make Lahmajoun

Sure, she says, why not,
we buy the ground lamb from the market
we buy parsley, fresh tomatoes, garlic
we cut, press, dice, mix

make the yeasty dough
the night before, kneading it
until our knuckles feel the hardness
of river beds or rocks in the desert

we tell Tante Lola to come
with her rolling pins we tell
Zaven and Maroush, Hagop and Arpiné
to bring their baking sheets

we sprinkle the flour on the kitchen table
and it is snowing on Ararat
we sprinkle the flour and the memory
of winter is in our eyes

we roll the dough out
into small circles
pale moons over
every empty village

Kevork is standing on a chair
and singing
O my Armenian girl
my spirit longs to be nearer

Nevrig is warming the oven
and a dry desert breeze
is skimming over the rooftops
toward the sea

we are spreading the lahma
on the ajoun with our fingers
whispering into it the histories
of those who have none

we are baking them
under the heat of the sun
the dough crispening
so thin and delicate

you would swear
it is valuable parchment
we are taking out
and rolling up in our hands

and eating and tasting again
everything that has already
been written
into the body.

_________________________________
This poem has appeared in POETRY magazine (May 2002) and Ararat Quarterly (Winter 2004). It appears also in the upcoming So I Will Till the Ground volume, published by Carnegie Mellon, in January 2007.

Prof. Djanikian has given his consent to reproduce it here.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Gregory Djanikian: Grandmother, Garlic and Alexandria

Click to hear
Grandmother Garlic and Alexandria, read by Lola Koundakjian.

This poem won the Rosalie Boyle award from the New England Poetry Club. It has appeared in the Autumn 1995 issue of Ararat Quarterly and in About Distance a collection of poems by the author, published by Carnegie Mellon press, 1995.




Gregory Djanikian directs the undergraduate creative writing program at University of Pennsylvania, where he also teaches poetry workshops. He is the author of several collections of poetry, The Man in the Middle, Falling Deeply into America, About Distance (1995), Years Later (2000), So I Will Till the Ground (2007), all from Carnegie-Mellon. His work has appeared in Poetry, American Scholar, Antioch Review, and Poet Lore.

Prof. Djanikian's books are available in bookstores throughout the United States.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Լեւոն Մուրադեան: ՀԱՅՐԴ ՉԿԱՅ

Ու ոչ ոք չի հարձցնում.
-Ինչպես տեղ հասար, որդիս
Մեղուները
Հաւաքեցին յոյսը.
Դու սովորեցիր հաւատալ
Մեղուները
Հաւաքեցին երգը.
Դու սովորեցիր սիրել
Մեղուները
Հաւաքեցին ցաւը.
Դու սովորեցիր ապրել
Հայրդ չկայ.
Ու ոչ ոք չի հարձցնում.
-Ինչպէս հայր դարձար, որդիս

Click the link to hear Levon Muradyan's
Your Father has Vanished, read by Lola Koundakjian.

Your father has vanished
Yet no one asks
"How did you make it, son?

The bees
Took your hope
Yet you learned to hope

The bees
Collected the songs
Yet you learned to love

The bees
Gathered the pain
Yet you learned to live

Your father has vanished
Yet no ones asks
"How did you became a father, my son?"


Translation by Lola Koundakjian

Monday, May 01, 2006

Lola Koundakjian: April 30, 2006

Click to hear Lola Koundakjian read her poem April 2006 .

Mon, 1 May 2006 07:00:00 EST

Մօրս պէժ քաշմիր բուրդը
Կեանքս ազատեց երբ հասայ
Ծանր հարբոյխով մը:

Երանի իմ կարգիս կարենայի
Կեանքը ազատել այն ընտանիքին
Որ հիւսեց այդ բուրդը:

Ու՞ր է արդարութիւնը,
Մարդոց խի՞ղճը:

Լօլա Գունտաքճեան (2006)


Here is the translation.

April 30 2006
My mother's beige cashmere sweater
Saved my life when I arrived
with a bad cold

I wish in return I could
save the lives of those
who wove that wool

Where is justice?
Where is morality?
India -- Pakistan -- Kashmir -- Bangladesh.


Copyright, Lola Koundakjian, 2006.