Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Diana Der Hovanessian: Radio Erivan

Since 1915
the walled monastery
in Jerusalem's Old City
(Vank of the Armenian Church)
has been peopled by
families, exiled by Turks,
each in a room but now
In a cell warmed with
books and rugs
you will eat cheese,
drink tea and discuss Keats
and Kierkegaard
with a hospitable priest.
Then at ten, someone will tune
the radio to a band marked in green,
for folk songs from the Caucasus.
Stone walls and books
fade to wind and
your father's voice will
cross the years of
your American childhood.
And suddenly
so far from home
his happy child
will inherit all his tears.

From the collection About Time: poems by Diana Der Hovanessian. Used here by kind permission of the author.

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