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Zahrad, Armenian poet whose real name was Zareh Yildizciyan was born in 1924 and educated in Istanbul. He was educated at Mekhitarist schools and attended medical school for a while. He became a poet known for short, epigrammatic, witty, modern verse. His work was trend setting, wry and playful but with a sharp edge. He died in February 2007, in Istanbul. The poems below were translated by Diana Der-Hovanessian, American born poet, who tells a funny story about him: He had been writing to her for years, in English, even sending valentines, etc. When he and his wife went to see her in Boston she learned it was his wife, Anais who had written all the letters. He didn't know English. Below are some of her translations of Zahrad's work. TRUTH AND BEAUTY By Zahrad Translated by Diana Der-Hovanessian Today a bird with a gray bill perched on my hand of its own will. Whatever is beautiful is free. Whatever is free can come and go. Truth can be caged, even buried and so true beauty's name is mobility. * * * * * CLEANING LENTILS By Zahrad Translated by Diana Der-Hovanessian A lentil, a lentil, a lentil, a stone. A green one, a black one, a green one, a stone. A lentil, a lentil, a lentil, a word. Suddenly a word, a lentil, a lentil, a word next to another word. A word, a word, a word, a speech. A word of nonsense. Suddenly a song. A song, a song, suddenly an old dream. A green, a green one, a black one a stone. A lentil, a lentil, a lentil, a stone. * * * * * THE ARCHER By Zahrad Translated by Diana Der-Hovanessian It is a sharp, shining cupid's point I aim at your heart and draw the bow. But before the arrow reaches I fly to grab it in full flight before it pierces to draw blood. This too is a way of loving. I am its inventor. * * * * * GIFT By Zahrad Translated by Diana Der-Hovanessian Don't turn off on Christmas Eve your lights too soon. I believe your shadow falling on the blind will be the best gift I could find, that gift a summer sun of light to fill, to warm my winter night. Don't turn off my dreaming please, flicking off lights on Christmas Eve. * * * * * GAME By Zahrad Translated by Diana Der-Hovanessian Divide mankind into two categories male and female. Discard the males. Keep the women. Then divide the females into two groups old and young. Discard the old. Then put those who remain into two groups beautiful and plain. Keep all those who are not ugly. Then pick from the beautiful the one beauty and what do you see but the wife you've had all your years! -- Diana Der Hovanessian is a Fulbright professor of American literature at Yerevan State University in 1994 and 1999, she is author of 17 books and has published in American Scholar, Poetry, Harvard Review, Nation, Paris Review, New Republic, and her poetry is regularly published in the Christian Science Monitor. She has awards from the Columbia Translation Center, P.E.N., Writers Union of America, and the Writers Union of Armenia.