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“Holy Translators,” “Mirror”

Holy Translators

I’ll always be in love with Father Tigran.
I’ll wear a long black robe and never marry.
I’ll stroke my bushy beard and lecture on
the Holy Translators of the fifth century,
who invented the Armenian alphabet
to record the Bible. To translate means to carry
from one place to another, like a jet.
We are their inheritors in this Muslim country.

We brought the printing press to Isfahan,
we introduced oil lamps in Austria,
we put the first rover on the moon,
and when the Turks marched us to Syria
we sent a student my age to Berlin
to plant a bullet in the Pasha’s brain.



Whose eyes are those that glisten        Listen
behind my darker eyes?                      Cries

Whose silent lips that part                   Heart
like fish in that silvered lake?               Ache

Who writes across your page?             Age
Who stirs behind your gloss?              Loss

Armen Davoudian Armen Davoudian is the author of the poetry collection "The Palace of Forty Pillars" (Tin House Books) and the translator, from Persian, of "Hopscotch" (Ugly Duckling Presse), a chapbook of poems by Fatemeh Shams. He grew up in Isfahan, Iran, and is a PhD candidate in English at Stanford University.

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