Armenian Jerusalem
       

New Jersey-based Robert Marashlian, whose parents hail from

Jerusalem, has been writing poetry for as long as he can remember.

But somehow he never got around to having any of his work

published. Until now.

     New York publisher Vantage Press has now made that dream of his come true.               The   new   poetry   anthology   is   entitled   "The   Odyssey   of   Life"   and   will   contain   some of   his   latest   poem   "The   poetry   of   Robert   Marashlian   is   frequently   a   criticism   of   contemporary society's beliefs as well as the way we now live.                His   work   reflects   his   feelings   toward   the   outstanding   events   of   our   times,   not   to   mention his profound appreciation of life," according to a book review.                "The   Odyssey   of   Life,"   Robert's   first   published   collection,   brings   together   the   best   of   his work spanning three decades.                Subtitled   "Poems   of   Truth,"   this   forthright   volume   presents   social   and   political   concerns, underscores   the   poet's   love   of   the   natural   world,   pays   tribute   to   the   great   importance   of   an irreplaceable   friendship,   and   honors   the   ideas   of   "filling   the   present   with   joyous   times"   and "being blessed with musician friends who are talented and kind," the review says.                Poems   such   as   "The   Good   Old   Days,"   "A   Message   to   My   Muslim   Friends,"   "Jihad,"   and   "Iran" are    eloquent    in    their    representation    of    the    volatile    times    in    which    we    live.    Ever    the attentive    observer,    the    poet    also    ponders    his    "Conscience"    with    introspection    while acknowledging the fragility of life in "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow."                The   Odyssey   of   Life   combines   artistic   flair   with   a   straightforward   outpouring   of   honest emotion.   With   their   varying   joy,   beauty,   and   conflict,   these   poems   happily   compel   readers   to see the world through Robert's discerning eyes.                Robert   graduated   from   Colorado   State   University   and   enjoyed   a   long   career   as   a   teacher. As   an   educator,   musician,   and   member   of   the Armed   Forces,   he   faced   many   challenges   in   his life,   with   perhaps   his   greatest   challenge   being   his   diagnosis   with   multiple   sclerosis   in   the prime of his life.                Not   to   be   deterred,   Robert   refused   to   be   defined   or   limited   by   his   affliction,   and   began writing   poetry   to   express   his   feelings.   Through   his   writing,   the   poet   gives   readers   the opportunity   to   meet   a   huge   challenge   as   well:   "to   understand   life   for   what   it   truly   is   and   how to   live   it   to   its   fullest."   In   addition   to   writing,   the   poet   loves   music,   worked   for   a   time   as   a musician, and composes creatively whenever he can.                Now   retired,   Robert   resides   in   New   Jersey.   The   new   poetry   book   is   to   be   published   in April,   2008.   Robert   is   an   accomplished   musician,   singer   and   composer   but   has   also   found time to turn his talents to poetry.                     Robert    has    become    a    vocal    champion    of    the    unfortunate,    the    abused    and    the downtrodden.   He   has   a   particular   dislike   of   self-serving   politicians   and   cannot   tolerate aggression, and he is constantly bewailing the rape of his ancestral land and its people.               Although   he   can   hardly   move   his   body   around,   his   heart   and   soul   soar   to   inspiring   heights in   his   poetry   when   he   proclaims   to   the   world   that   despite   the   dispersion   and   persecution   of the past, the spirit of Armenians "still breathes and flutters alive."                Robert,   who   also   happens   to   have   devoted   himself   to   mathematics,   believes   the "foundation   of   the   future   lies   somewhere   in   the   past."   Evocative   thoughts   from   a   sensitive human being who knows the true meaning of courage in the face of relentless suffering.                In   "Armenia   Speaks"   he   accuses   the   aggressor   of   killing,   maiming   and   torturing,   of   leaving "nothing   there   to   be   spared."   But   Armenia   remains   strong   in   its   faith   and   knows   that   "the foundation of the future, lies somewhere" in its glorious past.
This project has been supported by the Gulbenkian philanthropic Foundation, the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and members of the worldwide Armenian community. Reproductions of the genealogical documents [domar’s] are courtesy Photo Garo, Jerusalem. Copyright © 2007 Arthur Hagopian
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