The king hung you like a crucifix
From the neck of my city, Isfahan:
With your cathedral and cobblestones
With your taverns and goldsmiths
And your blushing daughters.
The city remained apart from you
Lying beyond Zaiandeh River.
Only poets of midnight
Knocked at the door of your taverns
And hikers of early morning
Disturbed your trickling spring.
For hundreds of years
We grew apart
Until the canals of Zaiandeh River
Brought our hearts together
And the blood of Vazgin
Flowed into my heart.
Oh, little Armenia!
The tyrants wanted you as a crucifix
But you rose again
Like the crucified Christ.
January 29, 1986
* My Armenian friend, Vazgin Mansourian was executed in July 1983 in Evin prison, Tehran. He is survived by his son, Narbeh. In this poem, "Little Armenia" refers to "Jolfa", the Armenian neighborhood in Isfahan. Shah Abbas I (1571-1629) forced Armenians to migrate from their homeland to his capital, Isfahan, Iran.
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