Monday, February 06, 2012

Diana Der Hovanessian: Teaching you Armenian

To understand
the western dialect
you must breathe in
the heavy-air
of the Mediterranean
and eat the pink flesh
of a ripe apricot
while I speak.
If the apricot
is not truly ripe
you will need two.

The eastern dialect
has nursery care
in greenhouses and
Its long pale roots
grow so strong
that transplanted anywhere
its flowers change
the passing winds
into pauses
between Armenian songs.

Diana Der Hovanessian
From How to Choose Your Past, Ararat Press, 1978. The poem also appeared in the Christian Science Monitor.

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