Violet Grigorian

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Violet GRIGORYAN (poet, essayist; Armenia) was born in Tehran before her family repatriated in Armenia in 1975. One of the founders of the literary journal Inqnagir, she currently serves as its editor. The author of four books of poems, Grigoryan has won the Writers' Union of Armenia poetry award for [‘True, I’m Telling the Truth’] (1991), and the Golden Cane prize in literature for [‘The City’] (1998). Her poems have been anthologized in France, and in the English-language collections The Other Voice: Armenian Women’s Poetry Through the Ages (2006) and Deviation: Anthology of Contemporary Armenian Literature (2008).

Source: University of Iowa's International Writing Program


My Homeland

My homeland, your rotten fang
goes into my throat

Enough! Push it through or take it out,
I flounder like a butterfly pinned.

My homeland, in this shooting race,

for which you are the circus ring,

I am the siding duck staring into your gun,

waiting for my forefinger to release the spring.

And fan-like, as the phoenix do,
I die, next I rise from the dead -

now I'm cannon fodder under your flag,
now I'm a bloodsucker stuck on your vein.

Like a mule I carry on my back
the dear waste of your fossil yore,

this my life is a losing game

and I will have a chance no more.

I stop this haggling I've got nothing to do a deal,
my only life weighs zero on your scales,
surely it is a losing game.

Yet I  pardon you, my homeland dear.