Before beginning their class last Saturday, the students of Siamanto Academy enjoyed a presentation of “Armenian Haiku” (the original title is «հայերէն հայքու») by Garin Angoghinian, the author of this poetry book.

As the title says, Angoghinian—the pen name for Garin Bedian—has written a collection of poems in Armenian according to the Japanese haiku style of three verses in a 5-7-5 pattern. Some of the students were already familiar with the haiku genre, while others also knew the author from AYF meetings.

In his talk, Garin explained that his pen name of Angoghinian was a pun on the transliteration of his Bedian family name (պետbed in Armenian means “chief,” whereas անկողին-angoghin is the Armenian translation of the English word “bed”)

He said that he chose the haiku style not to discourage people with limited vocation for reading, who might be put off by lengthy, dense paragraphs. That same reasoning explained why he chose to write even his own name in lower case letters, to make reading easier and make words friendlier to eyesight.

Garin read a haiku “snooze” («սնուզ») which was simultaneously translated by one of Siamanto Academy students, Knar Krafian:

To sleep peacefully
I had said half an hour earlier
Five more minutes

And it was a fitting choice as the students were devoting their nap time to studying behind computer screens on Zoom.

Edited by Rupen Janbazian, this book brings fresh air to our literature and reassurance about the attachment of our youth to their Armenian identity.