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For the inaugural posting of The Literary Groong, we're honored to have a poem to share, directly from Diana Der Hovanessian. 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. TWO ARMENIANS WALKING ON SUNDAY By Diana Der Hovanessian 1. Walking with an Armenian is different from walking with anyone else. In the first place he will try to catch up with another Armenian unless you happen to be one. In the second place he'll keep looking sideways for another Aemenian unless you happen to be one. Laughing with an Armenian is different from laughing with anyone else. You know you're laughing because you've survived. 2. He'll lead you off the path and like tasseled whips the grass will beat lightly against your legs as you plough through for motion not direction, for denseness that makes a path. 3. "What does that butterfly mean? The one that flies over your head" "Is it a monarch or phantom blue?" "It's white. Small and white." "That's one of the ghosts of the 34 Armenian dialects inquiring into our quiet." 4. And when two Armenians are quiet it's not because there's nothing to say. [This poem was published in "How to Choose your Past" in 1978 by Ararat Press, and the translation by Garig Basmajian appeared in HARATCH in Paris in 1977. Source: Lola Koundakjian ]