Arsham Azarian didn't know he had the talent for writing poetry until three years ago.
But the 74-year-old Glendale resident started writing poems in Armenian and before he knew it, people were asking him to have his writings translated into English.
The Iranian-born Azarian always had an interest in literature and art as a teenager, but hadn't tried his hand at writing his own compositions until his granddaughter's birthday, when he put his thoughts together and came up with a poem.
The feedback from his family was so positive it inspired Azarian to write more. Azarian goes to the Good Day Adult Day Care Center where he enjoys playing pool and backgammon with other seniors, and gets inspired to work on his poetry in the company of friends.
Glendale News-Press news assistant Ani Amirkhanian sat down with Azarian at Good Day and asked him a few questions.
What inspired you to start writing poetry?
I was surprised how it happened. It was my grandchild's birthday and I wrote something on paper. It's been three years. I started writing and I continued and people told me that it was good.
They like it, but I tell people that I'm not a good writer, but others think I am.
Do you write about a particular topic or theme?
I write about love, hope, kindness and love for mothers and universal themes, like sorrow and forgiveness. I write about all kinds of love, love of humankind. I write a lot about mothers. Mother's Day isn't just once a year, it's every day. Mothers are born every day, not once a year.
Why are mothers so important to your poetry writing?
Mothers. I love them. I'm convinced that mothers create everything. They hold everything together.
How does your family respond to your poetry?
They get happy. My little granddaughter she called and said, "Grandpa, write me a poem for Mother's Day, so I can give it to Mom." She gets happy when I write it for her.
Is there any time of day that you prefer writing, or does it vary?
There are times that I'll be going somewhere and something will come to me, and I'll have to write it. But my memory is bad, so I have to write it right there. Or there are times that I sit and think about something to write, or all day will pass and I won't be able to write anything.
Menu from Feb. 7 to 13. Meals served at 11:30 a.m. daily at:
Adult Recreation Center
201 E. Colorado St.
821 Maple St.
Sparr Heights Recreation Center
1613 Glencoe Way
TODAY: Scalloped potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower, split-pea soup, whole-wheat bread, vanilla ice cream.
THURSDAY: Armenian chicken, mixed vegetables, lentil soup, pita bread, oatmeal cookies.
FRIDAY: Fish or chili relleno, Spanish rice, green beans, Caesar salad, cranberry juice, whole-wheat bread, canned pineapple.
SATURDAY: Stuffed potato with chicken, macaroni with cheese, peas and carrots, three bean salad, whole-wheat bread, orange.
SUNDAY: Sweet and sour meatballs, white rice, zucchini, romaine lettuce tomato, grape juice, whole-wheat bread, cinnamon-apple sauces.
MONDAY: Creole chicken, noodles, broccoli, vegetable soup, corn bread, orange gelatin with fruit.
TUESDAY: Stuffed bell pepper, mashed potatoes, baked winter squash, chicken rice soup, whole-wheat bread, fruited yogurt.