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The Literary Groong - 09/05/2009

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		A MODEST TREASURE

	By Michael E. Stone


	A straightforward, modest book,
	stands proudly alongside
	jewelled, gold-crusted treasures
	made for bishops and kings.

	Sewn with twine,
	and bound with leather
	over wooden boards, lovingly.
	Copied in a village church
	by a priest, for love of God,

	in black, blocky letters
	by stylus in carbon ink
	on thick stiff yellow paper
	laid and polished by hand.

	A note by a reader
	three centuries ago,
	a memorial for his soul,
	and that of his dead mother.

	A later owner says he
	ransomed it from bondage,
	from the hands of "the others".

	Cherished, it enfolds
	past lives and future hope.


--
Michael Stone is Professor of Armenian Studies at the Hebrew
University of Jerusalem. He has published poetry in Ararat, Avocet,
Byline Magazine, Hazmat Review, King Log, Mandrake Poetry Review,
Ruah, White Heron, ARC, and Voices Anthology. He also translates
medieval Armenian poetry into English and has published translations
in Ararat, Sion and St. Nersess Theological Review. He is at present
finalizing an English translation of the medieval biblical epic
Adamgirk' by Arak'el of Siwnik'. In addition to poetry he has
published numerous scholarly books and articles on Armenian studies.

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