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The Literary Groong - 11/18/2006

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	By Diana Der-Hovanessian         

	"Love is not all. It is not food nor drink."
					Edna St. Vincent Millay

	Nor is food love, but palate's sport alone.
	Even with ceremony, without  toast or vow,
	it is just means of keeping flesh on bone.
	But table and altar are confused somehow.
	We substitute our food again, again
	for rites of love.  Look how this buffet sinks
	with golden fowl and platters of grain
	and candles for our eyes to drink.

	Love is not food. But in the name of those
	with parched throats, who could not eat
	or pray, whose empty mouths have closed,
	whose bellies swelled with pain not meat,
	we call it sustenance when it is shared.
	And sharing we call prayer.


	From  Songs of Bread, Songs of Salt, Ashod Press

Diana Der Hovanessian is a Fulbright professor of American literature
at Yerevan State University in 1994 and 1999, she is author of 17
books and has published in American Scholar, Poetry, Harvard Review,
Nation, Paris Review, New Republic, and her poetry is regularly
published in the Christian Science Monitor. She has awards from the
Columbia Translation Center, P.E.N., Writers Union of America, and the
Writers Union of Armenia.

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