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TO ARMENIA By Marietta Shaginian, 1903 Translated by Shushan Avagyan With such unfathomable comfort And a prayer on my lip do I recall The soulful chants of your churches, My far off homeland! With a pain as burning as the silhouette Of my lover's face do I recall - Your meadows, rivers and valleys, And the opulent fragrance of thyme - Submissive to a mysterious law My ears are still accustomed to long For the sound of your solemnly lucid Language - oh, so glorious. And at this hour of incessant yearning While searching for a final haven, Your ill-starred child is coming To rest with you, my precious - I know - the smart wild beast crawls Back to its burrow when wounded. Nurse my pains, oh, native land - That the northerner inflicted on me! -- Russian-Armenian pre- and post-revolutionary writer Marietta Shaginian (1888-1982), otherwise known as Jim Dollar, was born in Moscow. She was one of the "Fellow-Travelers" of the 1920's led by the Serapion Brotherhood and wrote prolifically in various genres such as novels, short stories, essays, poetry and travelogues from her excursions across the newly established USSR. Soviet Marxist critics condemned her experimental fiction as "internationalist" and "decadent." In her later years she turned to travelogue writing, mostly focusing on her regular journeys in Armenia. This selection is from Orientalia [St. Petersburg, 1922]. To read more about Marietta Shaginian goto: http://www.aiwa-net.org/AIWAwriters/shaginian.html