Thursday, April 30, 2009

Diana Der-Hovanessian: The Political Poem

The political poem
is not a geography lesson,
moan of protest, rant, nor
shout heard only once.
It is an echo, echoing forever
It began with man’s first breath
as he struggled to inhale and
exhale by himself.
The political poem is a fact
of life because man is
a political animal by breeding
by being given the power to think.
The beating heart is
the first poem. Poetry and
politics are the auricle and ventricle
chambers of the heart.
The poem starts and stops there
but must address the head
because it is not an end in itself..
It is more than a song of love.
praise of life, mourning of loss.
It calls for change. It insists
on restorations. It affirms dignity.
Although it comes in disguises
both beautiful or sweaty
it needs no invitation, nor
justification. It starts with
the recognition of injustice.
That is the irritation on which
layer after layer of light must be
coated until the political poem
is a vessel of light, catching light,
shedding light.

All this is to explain why the sun
is so hot in Turkey. It is reflected
back in so many grains of
irritant, the dust of so many unburied
Armenian poets, so many poems.
This dust, these grains which winds
blow, blow into the eyes of all the living.

This poem has previously appeared in RAFT.

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