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Review: Whispers and Breath of the Meadows, by Razmik Davoyan

Zmrouthe Aubozian, France-Arménie, Autumn 2010

Whispers and Breath of the Meadows is a very interesting bilingual (Armenian-English) poetry book published by Arc, Visible poets, a British editor specialized in translating the best poets in the world. On the left hand of the page the poem is in Armenian and on the right hand, one can read it in English, translated by Arminé Tamzarian who skilfully knows how to render the musicality of the words. Arminé has the difficult task to translate those poems that speak of the whispers and breath of the meadows. Razmik Davoyan is in communion with nature : warm sorrow oozes from the willows, the tree unwraps its skin to hold him within... But though his poetry is cheerful, it is at the same time marked by the tragedy of existence the inevitable existence of death. And if the walls are not standing but sitting on the soil, the soil [is sitting] on the bodies of the dead. Oppression of the Genocide cannot be ignored :the tombs resting in Turkey, an entire land, a graveyard. He holds the Earth in his arms and : on my chest, a place the size of my heart, ARMENIA.

Razmik Davoyan, the author of sixteen collections of poetry, of prose works, is one of the most prominent writers in Armenia, advisor on cultural and educational issues to the President of Armenia. He has received numerous awards including Armenia's State prize for literature in 1986 and the President's prize for literature in 2003. He was decorated with the Order of Saint-Mesrop Mashtots for his achievements and services to the country in 1997.