Breaking down cultural barriers
Transposer une culture dans une autre par delà les barrières culturelles

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Parikhan Khanum SAFAVI - 1548-1578

En ce jardin trompeur, O guide, aucun repos,
Apporte donc le vin car le destin est fixe
Nul ne bâtit son toit dans le lit d'un torrent
Nul ne fait de dessein, en cette cour antique
Jusqu'à ce que la courbe de tes sourcils ne soit
Devenue marécage où s'égare mon âme
Tu ne peux, O bellâtre, engager ma candeur
O, frère - “de sang” dis-tu - rien ne te guérira,
Pas même la vie avec sa sagesse de Luqman*,
Lorsqu'elle t'aura laissé aux portes de la mort.

Pari Khan SAFAVI (1548-1578)
Adapté du persan par Sylvie M. Miller

ساقيا تكيه بر اين دار فنا نتوان كرد
باده پيش آر كه تغيير قضا نتوان كرد
خانه بر رهگذر سيل نتوان ساخت
فكر جاويد در اين كهنه سرا نتوان كرد
طاق ابروي تو محراب دلم تا نشود
اي پريچهره به اخلاص دعا نتوان كرد
اي «حقيقي» چو تو را عمر به پايان برسد

با همه حكمت لقمانش دوا نتوان كرد

* Luqman bin Baura. He was descended from Azar, the father of Abraham as In Tafsir al-Kasysyaf (al-Zamakhsyari's work), Luqman was described as a very black-skinned man with a very thick face.

Pari Khan Khanum (Persian: پریخان خانم‎‎, also spelled Parikhan Khanum) was a Safavid princess. She was the second daughter of the Safavid king (shah) Tahmasp I (r. 1524 – 1576) and was a influential and bright figure in the Safavid Empire. She was strangled to death on 12 February 1578 at Qazvin.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Liparit Nazariants - PERSIANA

I. The Flute

I had an amber flute, to sing my songs.
I sang the steely summits
Of my native mountains and the blue skies
They pierced.
And my flute resonated high and happy,
Like the skylark’s song.
And I sang the velvet of the night
And the colorful lace
Of first light.
And my song resounded jubilant
And passionate as the holy
Hymns of pagan priests.
But when I sang to my beloved –
Brighter than the dawn,
More mysterious than the heavens --
My lips’ fervor
Dissolved the flute’s amber.
II. The Pitcher

There, at the head of the fountain,
I saw my beloved surrounded
By young women.
And her laughter echoed
The fountain’s silver warble.
A shepherd ambled by
And asked for a drink.
She smiled and, ever so tender,
Extended the pitcher
To his lips.
Then approached a minstrel
Asking for a drink.
She smiled again and extended
The pitcher for him
To drink.
But when I approached
To quench my thirst,
She threw the pitcher against the rocks
Smashing it to bits.
The young women burst out laughing,
With mockery and deride.
But I was content –
My beloved had set me aside
From all others.
III. The Flowers

I saw my beloved maiden
Decked in flowers,
Coming out of her garden.
And I said:
“Give me that rose in your hair,
So flushed in the purlieu
Of your cheeks. Let me rekindle
My pale lips with its flair.”
And, “Give me the lilies on your breast,
Breathing the aroma of your bosom --
Let me imbibe their scent
And get drunk.”
She picked a flower in haste,
Plucked its petals
And gave me the stem.
But I already had
What I wished for most.
And my beloved’s face flushed
Like a rose and a bright, lily-like smile
Bloomed on the corners
Of her mouth.
Liparit Nazariants
Translated by Tatul Sonentz

Rouben Sevak - Intoxicated Night

There is incense in the air, kisses in the air,
Coddling in the air -- the air emits a soft flair,
Myriads of fairies seem to whisper and stare.
Tonight, around me, eternal things in the air…
There roars in the night a restless commotion,
Invincible as love, despondent as disaffection,
Scores of stars, a sigh or two in the twilight…
Above me, the night sky twinkles in delight.
The lake rises and soars spewing silver foam,
Each and every wave assumes a siren’s form,
And seems to murmur a beguiling welcome…
Tonight, a myriad things in my lake’s bosom.
Oh, for a seething heart and two moist eyes,
My head cradled on the gentle heave of sighs,
My arms across hers, interlaced… yet apart…
Tonight, a myriad things in my hungry heart.

Translated by Tatul Sonentz

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Tatul Sonentz Papazian - NIGHTFALL

Our last
amble together
in that drizzling rain,
when the City of Lights
dropped its day-mask, and
the nimble hand of the night
snuffed the lingering sunlight,
removed its long, black glove
and snapped its ornamented
fingers, the iridescent light
show came to sudden life
in its wide open heart
starring the Etoile…
in an unremitting
parade of dripping-wet
umbrellas, we strolled along
together, on that last night.
she, always, on my right,
while in my left side,
the rain drizzled
in my heart…

Tatul Sonentz Papazian

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Tatul Sonentz Papazian - HI, THERE!

Hi there! Didn’t expect me,
did you…?
It was ajar -- the door to memory,
and I slipped through,
leaving a few strands of fur behind,
just for a glimpse of you,
hoping you might offer
me a smile or two…

What’s that you say?
Where was I yesterday, and
Why today? Because that wonderland
Called childhood, before it fades away,
Is best remembered now, today,
Than at tomorrow’s delay…

Tatul Sonentz 2016

Monday, 25 July 2016

Tatul Sonentz Papazian - PATER

“Come,” he said,
Taking me by the hand
And leading me towards
The clear, visible horizon, and
Beyond it, as it turned invisible,
Onwards, through sunflower fields
Moonlit trees and many galaxies
Of fireflies frozen as stars
Pointing to countless
Other horizons…
“It’s all yours,” he said,
“But keep in mind, son,
“The mere blind possession
“Of one single thing robs you,
“--In its sightless obsession--
“Of everything and all
“That was yours from
“The very beginning…
“Just for the not taking,
“But giving…”
Tatul Sonentz

Tatul Sonentz Papazian - THE WIND. MY LOVE…

“It’s windy out there,
You’ll catch your death…”
She says, with a casual stare,
Murmuring under her breath,
Totally unaware
Of my casual affaire
With the wind…
The only entity that didn’t care
About sagging skin and looks
No longer fair
To look at…
With no critical stare
Or visible flair,
The wind embraces me
Caressing my face
That no one has kissed lately…
“Get back inside, already…”
She yells from the porch
Forcing down windblown skirt,
Apron and grey hair…
“La donna e mobile,
Qual ' pium al vento…”
Blares the radio.
I wish we could elope…
With diminishing courage,
Even at this age,
One lives with hope.
Tatul Sonentz

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Tatul Sonentz Papazian - SHATTERED DREAMS

The yellow chariot
Of shattered dreams
The color of anemic flames
Parked in my space
Unhitched motionless
On roulette wheels…
“Faites vos jeux Mesdames
Et  Messieurs  Faites
Vos jeux…” chants
The crimson croupier
Waiving his trident
Calming his restless tail…
The chariot’s wheels
Remain frozen motionless
Like bankrupt players’ hands
“Rien ne va plus, Mesdames
Et Messiieurs, rien
Ne va plus…”
Time to wake up and board
The yellow chariot
Of shattered dreams
Parked in my space…

Tatul Sonentz


Thursday, 19 November 2015

Ruben Sevak - THE HARLOT

It was way past midnight, a muggy night of showers, 
Under the wet lantern light you stood there forlorn,
The water sang on the sidewalk, cars ran at random; 
You waited there, lingering on that bit of plot of yours. 

A strained smile sobbed deep in your sapphire eyes, 
There was the strain of pain on your brazen painted lips,
And under the pretty paired decline of your décolletage, 
There was no bound to ardors that would last all night. 

You were waiting prepared, submissive and compliant,
without love or choice, to offer yourself, eyes shut tight, 
To that condescending male who had bread to impart… 

I felt a faint flame, like pity, or passion within my heart, 
And maybe that night, I would have ceded to you, sister,
If a lone teardrop had not congealed on my cheeks… 
It was way past midnight, a muggy night of showers.


 Translated by Tatul Sonentz

Misak Metzarents - NOCTURNE

The night is sweet, the sensual night,
Anointed with hashish and balsam.
Stoned, I cross the road in moonlight,
The night is sweet, the sensual night.

Kisses rush in from wind and sea,
Kisses from light blooming around me.
This night is festive, Sunday of my soul,
Kisses rush in from wind and sea.

But my soul’s light wears out slowly,
My lips are thirsting only for a kiss.
The festive night, lit, oh so brightly,
Yet, my soul’s light wears out slowly.

..…………………Misak Metzarents

Translated by Tatul Sonentz

Ruben Sevak - ARMENIA

Who is sobbing thus in front of my shack?
            It is the exile -- sister, open the door…

Lamenting skeletons? Elapsing outside, alack!
            It is the famine – open your door…

Is that a cleaver battering my door to wreck?
It is the slaughter – open your door…

……………………. Ruben Sevak

Translated by Tatul Sonentz

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Ruben Sevak - THE SWANS

T H E   S W A N S
Il est d’etranges soirs,
Ou les fleurs ont une ame…
                Albert Samain

Silent is the night, a serene summer night,
Darkness has draped the vastness of the sky;
In the distance, only a few scattered lights
Flake down their snow ever so softly…

Not a whisper. Silence shimmers and shivers
In the endless, limitless expanse of space;
And like blinking eyes, the distant glimmers
Of street lights gleam in the palm of suburbs.

Towering in the eyes of the dark, the far away
Shadow of the Juras naps serene, soundless;
Further up, enormous, with disdainful sway
Rises high the Alps’ amethyst countenance.

Couched sensuously in the primeval cradle
Of the ageless pair of the most majestic chain,
Slumbers the azure spirit of Leman, lovable
As the fairest of fairies of those mountains.

* * *
The night is still, the lake, sad. In the distance,
Enticing as early sunrays, playful as bubbles,
On the becalmed surface of the sleeping waters,
Two swans slide silent, in secluded loneliness.

Their bodies are lovely, unsoiled by any speck,
With snow-white feathered wings of silver,
And their long, marble-cast, curvilinear necks
Akin to temple columns designed by dreamers.

They approach each other, oh, ever so slowly,
After a straight surge avast, they join beaks,
In a way not ever matched by lips in ecstasy,
In fervor of such turmoil that passion wreaks.

* * *

And they raise high their snow-white wings,
They entwine their soaring necks skyward,
In a manner that no two arms can ever swing,
Even at love’s peak passion’s clear command…

Far, far away, village lights flicker in the dark,
Farther, yet higher, is the Juras’ distinct likeness;
Higher yet, the panorama of the Alps, tall, stark;
Higher still, the firmament stands as witness….

Below, morose, on the placid, napping waters,
Content with the knowledge of a regal duty,
Mouth to mouth, neck around neck, ponder
The swans in deep silence, motionless, haughty….

July, 1907 ------------------ RUBEN SEVAK

Translated by Tatul Sonentz