By Kevork Keushkerian
LOS ANGELES and FRESNO — Tekeyan Cultural Organization’s Los Angeles Chapter organized a special two-book presentation of Vahan Tekeyan’s selected poems on Thursday, September 18, at the Raymond and Ani Kouyoumjian Hall of the Glendale Armenian Catholic Church.
Chapter Chair Vatche Semerdjian made the opening remarks. He welcomed the guests and then introduced the editor of the two books, Edmond Azadian. He expressed his amazement at Azadian, who amid his many travels, organizational engagements and weekly commentary in the Armenian Mirror-Spectator, found the time to edit Tekeyan’s two books of selected poems. He later invited master of ceremonies Parsegh Kartalian to proceed with the program.
Kartalian introduced the first presenter, Dr. Arpi Sarafian, who was asked to analyze Tekeyan’s Selected Poems, translated by Gerald Papasian and John Papasian and edited by Azadian and Gerald Papasian. Sarafian earned her PhD in English literature from the University of Southern California. Currently, she is a lecturer in English at California State University in Los Angeles.
Sarafian said the book was composed of 23 poems and was published by the California State University Press in Fresno in 2014. She said translating any piece of literature is hard enough, but translating poetry is more difficult as it involves rhythm and rhyme and the translator has to perform a delicate balancing act in order to capture the spirit of the poetry and maintain its essential authenticity.