GLENDALE–In her new collection–Peace Quantum–celebrated poet Alicia Ghiragossian borrows the language of science to explore the nature of peace and love in three languages: English–Spanish–and Armenian. The subject of these poems ranges from the anguished wails of injustice–to meditations on such figures as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.–to the power of joy. But the unifying element is love. Love is light–a wave and a particle–expressed and experienced in a multitude of fashions. Through love we release hurt and turn away from cruelty toward light. We recognize the interconnectedness of the universe–and we shape our own reality–these concepts are central to quantum physics–for in the act of observing–the observer changes reality.
Ghiragossian’s view is undoubtedly that of a mystic. Her poems have a lyrical–soaring quality that evoke cathedrals; they are filled with exhortations to God and expressions of the joy of being engulfed by a divine love that leaves peace in its wake. But there is pain here–too–despair at acts of inhumanity–and a determination not to forget the past. The poet pleads with us to set right the wrongs we have done–for there is no peace without justice. Some of Ghiragossian’s strongest imagery reveals the effects of genocide:
But the protests stored
in my waiting people
are still marching
the avenues of rejection
and still picking up grief along the way.
But even out of this darkness–there is the possibility for light:
We are deleting poison from our system
does not control us anymore
Our power is restored.
The universe has renewed
We become liberated.
We feel blessed.
Now there is room for miracles.
For some–the fervor and mysticism of Ghiragossian’s beliefs may make her poetry difficult to access at first glance–too tempting to label generically as "New Age" and move on. But for those who set aside critique and simply attempt to feel–this is remarkable–thought-provoking stuff. Accompanying the book is a CD. Read by Ghiragossian and set to music by Chopin–it is here that her poems soar most freely. A DVD with a short film by the poet and Brian J. Kronenberg is also included.
Alicia Ghiragossian is the author of 44 volumes of poetry. She was born in Argentina to Armenian survivors of the Genocide. After publishing poetry in her native Argentina–her poetry was translated to Armenian in 1967 and became a bestseller. She is one of the most beloved poets in Armenia and is the only living poet whose work has been illustrated by Pablo Picasso. Ghiragossian is also the recipient of several prizes and awards for her work in English–Spanish–and Armenian. She currently lives in Los Angeles.
A New Age Publications–Glendale–CA–$17.99–paperback