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The Literary Groong - 07/14/2007

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	       Roses For the Feast of Vartavar
		   (for V. Ivanovich)

	by Vahan Derian translated by Diana Der-Hovanessian

	You praised red roses raised
	for Vartavar. And in return
	I sang sad singer's songs.
	You said:  Your country's gardens
	are unmatched. Search near and far
	In spite of flinty land your roses burn.

	Vartavar's red rosy wreaths 
	are wherever you turn.   Just like hail
	spangling mountains, dales,  their flames
	have scorched our fields and burned
	our homes. Look, where endless blood
	was let. So many bled. No wonder
	that our roses blaze so fiery red. 

Vahan Derian, born and educated in Tiflis and studied later at the
Lazarian School in Moscow and the University of St. Petersburg. While
he was a student he learned about the 1915 genocide of Armenians. His
poetry both of heartbreak and political ideas, became besr known for
its music and echo of musical phrase after phrase.

Diana Der-Hovanessian,a poet in her own right , has translated into
English ten volumes of Armenian poetry. She was born in New England
and is president of the New England Poetry Club founded by Amy Lowell
and Robert Frost. Her latest book from Sheep Meadow Press is The
Second Question.

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