Saturday, October 19, 2013

Tatul Sonentz: CAPITAL IDEA


in oak paneled rooms
designer suits raise glasses
tinkling with ice melting
in single malt and close a deal
and like mangy dogs in heat
money sniffs and follows money
into dark vaults of glass and concrete
temples like the one where once
a young carpenter thrashed
money lenders and was absconded
sacrificed at countless missa solemnis
and fed as sacrement to repenting accountants
and such kneeling in cross-topped temples
of stone mortar and stained glass
through which the Sunday sun strains
descends with the holy ghost in colorful bits of light
on gucci clad wives no longer virgin
bearing diamond and blood red ruby crosses
around ample necks wrists ankles
shackled and fattened with mouthfuls of faith hope
and charity doled out in fetid favelas
around yuletide by armed deacons as alms
to knife club curse bearing mendicants
bereft of faith hopeless loveless
now bursting at the seams
of a globe gone mad
 
……………………………………tatul sonentz  

2013

Friday, October 18, 2013

Kosrof Chantikian: Shadow of the Poem You Are


the life of the tree, the heart of the tree
the tree of silence where language is without words
because words are for us

and yet you speak in the tongue of silence
of the oak, as if to say to it and to the air
moving over your hands

I am the voice of your dream come to watch over you
I am the sun from whose strength you were born

you turn to me and taking my hand
lead me to that place where memory lives alone.
it is there where the sea begins

where mountains receive their names
where snow has never been.
it is in this place no star has ever seen

that I shall wait for your return.
it is here in these moments of stillness
where the word lives

where the unsayable may be said
that I shall come to you
shadow of the poem you are


Kosrof Chantikian



"Shadow of the Poem You Are" was published in Ararat (Summer 2005, No. 183). The editor wishes to thank Mr. Chantikian for sending it to APP. 


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Տօն Սրբոց Թարգմանչաց


Որք զարդարեցին

Որք զարդարեցին տնօրինաբար զիմաստս անեղին,
հաստատելով յերկրի զգիր կենդանի`
հովուել զհօտ նոր Իսրայէլի:
Երգով քաղցրութեան հնչմամբ զԱստուած օրհնեսցուք:

Որք զերկրաւոր մեծութեան փառաց խաւար կոչեցին,
ապաւինելով ի յոյս անմահ փեսային`
անճառ Բանին արժանի եղեն:
Երգով քաղցրութեան հնչմամբ զԱստուած օրհնեսցուք:

Որք զօրութեամբ Հօր իմաստութեան էին անեղի,
հաստատեցին զաթոռ սրբոյն Գրիգորի`
թարգմանութեամբ նշանագրութեան:
Երգով քաղցրութեան հնչմամբ զԱստուած օրհնեսցուք:

Որ խորհրդեամբ ճշմարիտ լուսոյ փառաց անեղին,
նկարագրեցաւ մեզ գիր կենդանի՝
յարգանդ մաքուր մեծին Մեսրոպայ:
Անմատոյց լուսոյն երկրպագեսցուք:




Թարգմանչաց տօնի համար 13-րդ դարուն գրուած այս շարականին հեղինակն է Վարդան Վարդ- Արեւելցին: 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Վահէ Օշական։ Ծառ

Կը հարցնեմ -
երջանկութեան մուրացկաններ…
որքան հէգնանք, արհամարհանք
որ ալ կոտրին գորտռաչքերու պնակները
որ ալ դադրի՛ դրօշարշաւը
ծիծաղելի սա զոյգերու, երեքներու, չորսերու։

Տառապանքի աշկերտներ…
որքա՜ն գութ, արգահատանք
որ ալ դադրի՛ք կարասիրեր ըլլալէ
ու չերկարէք ձեր ափերը
վանդակներու ետեւէն
ամէն քայլի տոմսակ ուզել,
խղճմտանքէս։

Կեանքը կրծող ուրուականներ…
քանի՞ ծպտում պատռելու եմ
ձեր վրայէն
որ ալ դադրիք դերասաններ ըլլալէ,
կառափիս մէջ ցատկռտող։
Փշաթելի քանի՞ գօտի
անցնելու եմ տակաւին,
որ գամ կենամ
ձեր ջիղերու ժամադրութեան՝
ու պոռամ -
կենդանացէ՜ք։

Բայց երբ մարդիկ ընտելացած
ալ ետ դառնան։

Ջանասէր,  1 Յունիս 1972

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Վահէ Օշական։ Մահեր


Ամէնայն տեղ մահը մի չէ
կախում ունի ինչի համար կը մեռնիս,
մարդ բիւր անգամ, գաղտագողի, պիտ՛ մեռնի
որ հասկնայ՝ եթէ կրնայ՝ ինչ ըսել է ծնիլը,
բայց երանի մէյ մը մարդուն՝
որ պայքարի ընկերներուն հետ կը զոհուի,
մէյ մ՛ալ անոր
որ ազգէն անդին, մարդէն անդին, միս մինակը՝ կ՛անհետի։

«Ահազանգ», Ֆիլատելֆի, 1980

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Michael E. Stone: In Dilijan

Do I have anything to say
these days?
Long together and
now apart, gone.

My state so common
that each lives it
yet mine is unique -- it’s mine,
and worthy of  a poem
or like a stye in the eye,
mine and commonplace,
but mine.

I eat
dark red royal basilicum,
regal leaves, kingly flavor,
morosely.

In Dilijan

21-22 September, 2013


Thursday, October 03, 2013

Սիամանթո։ Սուրբ Մեսրոպ

Ներբողական

Օշականի ամենասո՜ւրբ գերեզման,
Հանճարի հող՝ ուրկեց այսօր,
Տասն և հինգ մրրիկեան դարերու
Պատմութիւն մը պերճաշուք,
Արևելքէն Արևմուտք, երկու Հայքն բովանդակ
Դէպի զՔեզ, ազատօրէ՜ն կը շարժէ...

Օշականի անհո՜ւն մեռեալ,
Դո՛ւն՝ բիւուրաւոր ճիւղերով,
Ոսկեհոս գետ գիտութեան,
Մտքի Փրկիչ, յոյսի Հսկայ, կեանքի Կեդրոն,
Դո՛ւն՝ անվախճա՜ն փոշիացեալ,
Դո՛ւն՝ ջահերու անմարելի շտեմարան,
Ուրկեց ուղեղս, մանկութեանս օրերուն,
Ես աղքատօրէն եկայ վառել...։

Օշականի վսեմական վարդապետ,
Դո՛ւն՝ վեհիմաստ վանական և Աստծո՛յ բաժակ,
Դո՛ւն ՝ Յիսուսի բազմաբուրեան պատմուճան,
Խօսքի´ աղբիւր, բանի՛ բարձունք,
Կարողութեանց անվե´րջ կատար,
Դո՛ւն՝ իմաստի աւազան և աղօթքի կապոյտ անձրև,
Ափ մը հողէդ ամբողջ երկինք մը դեռ կը բուրէ...

Օշականի Դուն՝ անկորուստ կրօնական,
Անապատին մէ՛ջ մխրճուող ճգնաւոր,
Դու՛ն անբասիր և մեհենական մենակեաց,
Խունկի՜ անտառ, կնդրուկներո՜ւ բուրաստան,
Քրիստոսի ազնիւ խօսքին դուն՝ տիրական տարածիչ,
Եւ կրանիթեայ ուղղափառ սիւն,
Եւ մտքի գմբէթ և հոգիի անծայրածիր հորիզոն,
Դո´ւն շնորհքի աշնանային շատրուան,
Քու հավատքէ´դ հավատացեալ՝ ե՛ս ալ լացի...։

Օշականի մէջ անմա՜հօրէն մահացեալ,
Անճառելի և անդրանիկ դաստիարակ,
Ես՝ երազային երեխայ մը վեցամեայ,
Այբբենարանդ ի ձեռին, անմեղօրէն զայն հեգելով,
Առաջին խաչը, ճակտէս սրտիս,
Հավատա՛ ինձ, ո՜վ հայութիւն...
Պատկերիդ դէմ է որ հաներ եմ...
Եւ լսէ´ այսօր, թոթովախօս ծաղկոցի
Շուշանմարմին մանուկներէն
Մինչև ծերերն հողաբոյր,
Քու Սուրբ անունդ կ´օրհներգեն... :

Օշականի հանճարանի՜ստ հողակոյտ,
Եկեղեցւոյ խորանին քով անշո՛ւքօրէ՜ն մրափող`
Եւ Եհովայի պատգամախօս մեծ Մատեանին
Դո՛ւն՝ սրբագիր թարգմանիչ,
Ոսկեդարու ադամանդեա՜յ բանալի,
Դո՛ւն՝հայ դպրութեանց անշրջանակ լուսամուտ,
Դո՛ւն՝ ճեմարան մարմարային մտածումի,
Ներէ´ որ քու աշակերտդ արբեցեալ,
Տասն և հինգ դարեր յետոյ զքե´զ պաշտէ...։

Օշականէն մեզի հսկող Մտքի Աստուած,
Դո՛ւն՝ հասողութեան հիմնաքար,
Աստղերէն մեզ լոյս լեցնող ոսկեհասակ աշտարակ,
Ուր մեր ուղեղը մեզ կը ժպտի...
Դո՛ւն՝ մտածման ծարաւներու արծաթեայ ծով,
Դո՛ւն՝ Տարօնածին հսկա՜յ Մովսէս,
Դո՛ւն՝ անհպելի մատենագիր մայր-բարբառի,
Թո´ղ իմ գանկս, վերջալոյսիս,
Քնարիս հետ, մոխիրովս առլցուն,
Յուղարկաւորներս` խնկատուփի մը փոխարէն
Հողակոյտիդ վրայ վառեն...։


ՍԻԱՄԱՆԹՕ, Ամբողջական Երկեր, 
Հրատարակութիւն ԴԱՆԻԷԼ ՎԱՐՈՒԺԱՆ ԳՐԱԿԱՆ ՀԻՄՆԱՐԿԻ 8
Տպարան Կիլիլիոյ Կաթողիկոցութեան, Անթիլիաս 1988

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Siamanto's Saint Mesrop Cycle translated

St. Mesrop Cycle

EULOGISTIC

Most holy grave of Oshakan,
Soil of intellect today, from whence
An illustrious history of fifteen stormy centuries,
From East to West--two Armenias entire,
Moves freely, praying, toward You . . .

Endless dead one of Oshakan,
You with thousands of branches,
Golden-tongued river of knowledge,
Redeemer of the mind, Titan of hope, Center of life,
You, reduced to eternal dust,
You, vault of inextinguishable torches,
To whom I came, like a beggar,
In my days of youth, to illuminate my mind . . .

Most high master of Oshakan,
You, most-learned monk and cup of God,
You, Jesus' abundantly sweet-smelling cassock,
Fountain of words, summit of speech,
Peak of endless possibility,
You, basin of knowledge and blue rain of prayer,
The entire world still is perfumed by a handful from your soil . . .

You of Oshakan, imperishable, pious,
A hermit plunged into the desert,
You innocent and templelike recluse,
Forest of incense, garden of frankincense,
You, lordly disseminator of Christ's fine Words,
And just pillar of granite,
And dome of the mind and immense horizon of the soul,
You, autumnal fountain of grace,
From your faith, I believing also cry . . .

Dead undying one in Oshakan,
Ineffable and first-born tutor,
I, a dreaming six year old child,
Your alphabet primer in hand, innocently spelling
The first cross from my brow to my heart,
Believe me, O paternal one,
I have made the sign of the cross before your picture . . .
And listen today, the murmuring of the flower garden,
From the young lilylike bodies,
To the old who smell of earth,
They praise your Holy name . . .

Oshakan's intellectual potsherd,
Inglorious slumberer near the church altar,
And of the big Book of the messenger Jehovah,
You the holy word translator,
Diamond-encrusted key of the golden ages,
You, unbounded window to Armenian learning,
You, assembly of languages, resting place of beauty,
You, marble walkway of thought,
Allow that your drunken disciple
Fifteen centuries later, may worship you . . .

Our vigilant God of Mind from Oshakan,
You, the founder of comprehension,
The Golden-age tower filling us with light from the stars
Where our mind smiles at us . . .
You, silver sea for those thirsty for thought,
You, giant Movsçs of Tarawn,
You, inaccessible author of the mother tongue,
At my last light, let my skull
Along with my lyre, filled with my ashes,
Be burnt by my cortege not upon a censer
But upon your plot of earth . . .


PRAYER TO THE HOLY

Give me light, irrefutable God,
Inexplicable architect of the cosmos,
Creator of predestination and knowledge,
Breath's tempest, central power,
Mesrop, the Deacon of your holy Table,
In his great indistinct dream
Beseeches from your hands, clarity . . .

Help me, generous wisdom,
I, crookless shepherd of your great sermon
I, pitiful mortal, discolored steward
Of the frightful Armenian race . . .
I, unlearned scribe and illegitimate master,
I, unwaving flag of your faithful multitudes,
I, reciter without a gift, vine-grower without rain,
I, blind fountain and humpbacked traveler,
I, unworthy glorifier of your endless glory,
Pray for light for my uninscribable sign . . .

Help me, fragrant God . . .
I, piteous seeker and inconclusive investigator,
I, talentless explorer and infertile atom,
I, ascentless ascetic and flightless rhetorician,
Bitter-smiling vagabond and uninstructed student,
Wandering visionary and untalented dreamer,
I, confined window and closed door,
I, an iron wave breaking before my soul,
I, guardian of the grave and accountant of the dead,
I, needy harvester of your fiery bread . . .
I, night without portholes and thirst without a pitcher,
I, lone tiller lost in thistles,
I, darkness without rays, I, stringless lyre,
Pray for a key of elucidation
For the soul of the still speechless Armenians . . .

Help me, father of the Centuries,
I, dim eye and impenetrable sight,
Empty-headed auditor and ear that has heard evil,
Inharmonious musician and slack-voiced singer . . .
I, field of unworkable soil, vacant storeroom,
Waiting at the table without bread and drained ration of wine,
I, uninvited guest to the wedding of Christ,
I unanointed sacristan and thinker without books,
And compassionless caresser and lover devoid of love,
I, charmless sermonizer and Christian stoned to death,
A beggar bearing gifts and rich without gold . . .
I, unkissed lips and lamenter without a soul,
I, loveless heart and imperfect maidenhood,
I, unfixed ambulant and vacillating voyager,
From your beacon of salvation, give to me a drop of light,
And with your celestial doors
Let the doors of spiritual life open like Paradise . . .

Help me, infinite God . . .
I, unbubbling brooklet and obstructed cataract . . .
I, untaught teacher and uncertain master,
I, master of literature still without laureate,
I, lowerer of the curtain before the wretched . . .
I, a wall casting darkness, infernal prisoner,
I, lost splinter, ungiven seed . . .
A thicket-grown path, tortuous tunnel . . .
I, inhospitable inn and dying one denied a bed . . .
Don't refuse me the light of your lantern . . .

Help me, whole Beginning,
I, basin of baptism without holy oil,
I, half-ruined hall of prayer,
I, farmer without a plough, reaper without a scythe,
I, unscented anointer and bitter-tasting oil,
I, doctor without balsam and bandage without muslin,
I, broken lamp and parched wick,
I, forest agitated by the wind and weeping willow . . .
I, unhewn timber and moldy beam,
I, soil-built censer and unsmoking incense,
I, vine without grape clusters and contaminated oat,
I, untrue forehead and uneven hand,
I, unable ecclesiastic and priest without host,
I, in my ashen solitude, a desert without caravans,
Grant me visitation . . .

Help me, O incomparable Law,
I, a hesitating man and hopeless person . . .
I, fearful individual and astonished animate one,
I, wind-chased waverer in doubt,
Inaudible uproar and unsounding trumpet,
I, a dried autumnal leaf descending,
I, brittle branch and scentless rosebush,
I, specter of sagacity,
I, short-sighted knowledge and degraded sense,
Lamenter under the vaults of your Church,
Face to face with your Christian people,
I, Reader of foreign tongues and illegitimate translator,
Of your great Book, the Bible, breath of God . . .

Help me, unending knowledge,
Powerful Lord, infinite inventor,
Zenith of light, unknotted wisdom,
Celestial water, uncleft soul,
Incalculable dispenser, cataract of dreams,
Let your luminous covering of knowledge,
Float down upon my desolate shoulder,
On this evening of the fortieth night
Of vigils, laments and prayers,
Timeless God, shoreless God,
Extend your creator hand to my brain,
To ferment there my discovery . . .


THE VISION

O miracle! O spiritual flame of faith!
O admirable strength!
O flaming talisman! O unfused thought!
Mesrop in slumber beheld a Cherub,
Who inscribed in a flash of an eye
With his right hand illuminated
The Armenian Alphabet upon the abbey wall . . .
Suddenly the Saint, moved to ecstasy by the great Vision,
Like a corpse bounding to his feet,
Quill pen and tablet in his hand,
Weeping under the miracle,
Before the wall kneeled endlessly . . .


THE GLORY OF DISCOVERY

Mesrop, set against the Armenian ages
You, stony mass of diamond,
You, from the naked brain of children,
To the intellect of germinating reflections,
Rare beacon of knowledge . . .
You, whose crash of the chisel,
Like the hours, unceasing with the minutes,
Casts the statues of the museum of wisdom . . .
You, sleepless overseer, you titanic Seer,
You, lullabying to the grave
Our only words, our only breath,
Beautiful-voiced explicator,
You, creator of speech, prince of the Word,
You, unlimited labyrinth of permanence,
You, fruitful father of substance,
You, wheel of light, invitation of faith,
You, upon the native soil like a storm rising up,
Infinite forest, forest of the heart
Whose individual solid giant trees,
Are one by one lyre, one by one pandora to our breath . . .
One by one trumpet to our strategic aspiration,
One by one rampart to the scourge of fate . . .
You, the plain of unspent wheat, you, free bread,
You, rich harvest and you, miraculous wine press,
You, vessel of wine and of intoxication,
In which I too have plunged my golden urn . . .
Crazy from my thirst of suns . . .

You, apostle of great penetrating gazes,
You were the one for whom the race sang from this day
From the ingenious and ardent Greeks
And from the conquering of the sons of great Rome,
And from the neighboring fire-worshipping Persians,
By means of the ruby headstone of your mother tongue
You freed the offspring of the Armenian descendants . . .
You, third God,
And you, first creator of thought . . .
You, fertile beneficence, fountain of the heart,
Treasury of colors, throne of compassion,
You, vaulting the flying centuries one by one,
Unlined bridge, by which your race by the millions
Either splendidly or basely,
From life to death, come and pass over . . .

You, from the famed Greeks,
The great-titled assembly,
O lone one! O Magistrate! Behold
Two Armenians "Hosanna to you" shout . . .
And hosanna to the Patriarch of Vagharshapat
Sahak Partev equivalent to your acolyte,
And King Vramapuh,
Because the buttress of your great discovery,
The one his Cross, the other his Sword, equal in power,
By walking with your steps
To the dawn of Ararat
Opened the door of literature to you . . .

Ah, all the blood of Your brain,
From what fevers such fever,
And from shudders what shudder,
What twisting from hellish twisting
And perplexity from perplexity and from hypothesis to hypothesis,
And from marine waves to wave,
And from scale to scale, transported you . . .

And only an atom from your soul,
Only a beam from your eyes,
Only a drop from the sparks of your genius,
Your windy panting and dispensed violence of your flights,
The fiery ardors of your prayers,
Forty days and nights,
In your solitude, alone as a corpse,
They moved you toward your vision . . .
And sprouting from the left bud in the dream,
And from the bud still not opened,
You from extinguished light, you from the visionary shade,
From the colorless line and the lofty rose of dream,
You, from the circumvolution, from the voiceless accent, from the uncolored word,
You, from the undulating and rootless seas,
From alliance you created the Alphabet . . .
And from the Gold Threshold of the Fourth century,
Until our day, dark with our blood,
Behold the multivious Armenian mind,
Is melded in Your ways . . .

O indissoluble enigma!
O cluster of lightening nerves!
Furnace of blood, pure bulk of dreams . . .
O wondrous and abiding seizure of senses!
Lyrical chimera-seeing frightful pupil of the eye,
You, rainbow drawn by God . . .
Bringing the fire of conciliation to us,
You, master of doubt and uncertainty,
You, unusual and sublimely traced dome . . .
You, monk of great emotion,
Man of God, brother of the mind, sister of the lyre,
Allow that I too may drink from your cup . . .

And today, nourished  by your holiness
I, incapable lyricist,
And unpaid and unworthy grateful one,
I bring to you the mirror of the soul of your race . . .
I took into my eye the flame from his eyes . . .
And my words I have collected from his heart,
And whatever you read on my forehead,
Whatever you see in my smile,
With his Hope I am inscribed . . .
And allow today, O Mesrop,
That from Armenian soil stretching to the stars
I will ascend your golden staircase,
And sure-footed, from step to step
And from coronet to coronet and light to light,
Like a child of your thought,
I will come to you, singing this song of mine . . .


Translated by Susan Barba. We invite our readers to visit the link at Words without Borders 

Readership continues to grow

We are celebrating the 7th anniversary of the Armenian Poetry Project.   


To date, APP has received over 457,000 hits and 29,415 audio downloads since its debut in May 2006. Readership has spread to over 100 countries where the lonely and the curious reach out to poetry TM.


Heartfelt thanks:


To you, our Readers -- you make it all possible. Your constant encouragement motivates the authors, the translators and the teachers.

To Catherine Fletcher and the editorial staff at Rattapallax for devoting a special feature on post-Genocide Armenian Poetry. 


To Peter Balakian, James Baloian, Sarkis Vahaken, Jean Assadour, Alan Whitehorn, Arpine Konyalian Grenier, Diana Der-Hovanessian, Aram Ketenjian, Panos Jeranian and William Michaelian (HG!) who sent their books and notes.


To Aram Saroyan, Gregory Djanikian, Michael Casey, Sotère Torregian, Lorne Shirinian, Raffi Setian, Lory Bedikian of Poetry Matters, Nancy Kricorian, Esther Heboyan, Keith Garebian, Nora Nadjarian, Nancy Agabian of GARTAL, Jim Erkiletian, Michael Akillian, Hagop Djelalian, Mark Gavoor, Garo Armenian and other contemporary authors for their permission to post their poems.


To Dr. Levon Avdoyan, of the Library of Congress, for his assistance in researching books.
To Prof. Theo M Van Lint for his scholarship and help in acquiring texts
To Nvair Kadian Beylerian for the use of her grandfather Anoush Krikorian's library.
To Zachary Jean Chartkoff for his contribution of books to the ever expanding APP library.
To Artsvi Bakhchinyan and Vartan Matiossian for their scholarship and translations.
To Prof. Dora Sakayan for her translations of Paruyr Sevak and her enthusiasm
To Prof. Valentina Calzonari for her translations published in the series Patrimoine littéraire J.-C. POLET (éd.)
To L.A.'s Zephyr Poets --Tina Demirdjian, Armine Iknadossian, Shahé Mankerian and Alene Terzian); Karen Karslyan, and Ara Shirinyan, for their support and partication in readings.
To Albert Kaprielian for his aid in getting documents on Canadian-Armenian poet Sha[u]nt Basmajian
To Sako Arian for his contribution of books
To Per Wik who introduced his grandfather Harout Kosdantyan and his work
To Elizabeth Grigorian for her assistance at the Glendale Public Library


To the judges of the first, second and third annual Arthur Halvajian Memorial poetry writing competition sponsored by the ASA: Garen Kazanc, Christopher Janigian; Lisa Whitten, Silva Ajamian, Dr. Rachel Goshgarian, Father Mesrop Lakissian and Alice Movsesian.


To Louise Kiffer of France and Sylvie M. Miller of Monaco for their translations of poems into French, and Tatul Sonentz for this translations into Armenian, French and English.


To the budding poets who send me emails and who participated in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd anniversary "Poetry Blasts", and APP's poetry writing competition in 2010, 2011 and 2012.


To the volunteer readers who contributed their voices to 19th - 21st century authors.


To the staff at Horizon Weekly's Literary Supplement (Montréal); the Aztag Daily's Literary and Arts Supplement (Beirut); the New York Public Library (Humanities Research); the Glendale Public Library; the Zohrab Center (New York); the Armenian Prelacy (New York); the AGBU's Bibliothèque Nubar (Paris); and, the Librairie Samuélian (Paris).


To various institutions and blogs such as the Armenian Educational Portal who have provided links to this site.


Lola Koundakjian
Curator and Producer of The Armenian Poetry Project
ArmenianPoetryProject[at]gmail[dot]com