Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Lorne Shirinian: Armenian Poets

for DDH

First there is the
need to be a poet
to bear witness through words

But your poems are only words
Then one day you find you have made
the earth shift to reveal
with frightening clarity
some mystery ancient and
human unfolding through you

Slowly, you begin to understand this desire
your words disappear to reveal the poem

But you are Armenian
absence and longing
are your heritage
you spot Varoujan dancing in Harvard Square
you bump into Siamanto at Wordsworth's bookstore
you receive a phone call; Tourian is lost in Watertown
you try to understand Armenia
you write Armenia

In the time warp called America
you mythologize the dead land
find yourself stranded between fable and reality

In your life
love and genocide
gather your images and desires
use English like a native
make you an Armenian poet

From the volume, Earthquake: Poems by Lorne Shirinian
Mellen Poetry Series, Volume 16, The Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston, NY 1991. Printed here by kind permission of the author.

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