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The Literary Groong - 09/27/2008

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	PASSWORDS

	By Diana Der-Hovanessian


	We don't need a huge
	vocabulary.
	Say "Dikran" and the walls
	of Dikranagerd rise.
	Say "Ani" and a hundred
	church bells peal
	in a wild shower of sound.
	Say "Der Zor" and
	the Euphrates
	sinks to a dried
	blood dusty bed.
	With "Yerevan"
	multi-colored
	fountains bloom.
	Say "tsaks" and
	your mother's smile
	crosses time
	like light.



	ARMENIAN

	The name does not mean much to us.
	We call ourselves Hai after Noah's
	great, great, grandson.
	We come from Noah"s valley.
	And his mountain Ararat belongs
	to us.  We laugh under our
	Hittite noses when others talk
	about old families, knowing our
	line goes back to the Garden
	of Eden in the Tigris valley.
	and when you say American
	we think you mean us. After all
	like the Pilgrims our ancestors
	came here for freedom, for refuge.
	When you say Armenian we look
	around for the Thracian tribe
	who joined us long ago.
	We call ourselves Hai.


Reprinted from Any Day Now, poems by DDH Sheep Meadow Press 1999

--
Diana Der-Hovanessian is a New England born poet is the author of
nine volumes of translations from the Armenian, one from Romanian,
and several of her own works including the newly published
THE SECOND QUESTION from Sheep Meadow Press.

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