I Love the Sun-Baked Taste of Armenian Words

I love the sun-baked taste of Armenian words,
their lament like ancient lutes, the bend
of blood-red flowering roses in the accents,
the lilt of Naiyirian steps still danced by girls.

I love the arch of skies, the faceted waters
running through its syllables; the mountain
weather, the meanest hut that bred this tongue.
I love the thousand-year-old city stones.

Wherever I go, I take its mournful music,
its steel-forged letters turned to prayers.
However sharp its wounds, and drained of blood,
or orphaned, for my homesick heart there is no other balm.

No brow, no mind like Nareg’s, Kouchag’s.
No greater utterance. No mountain reach
like the peak of Ararat.
Search the world there is no crest so white.
So like an unreached road to glory. Massis.
(No other language tells my want.)

Eghishé Charents

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