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

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Yeghishe Charents - VISION OF DEATH

Like a taut string of a discarded cello,
My heart trembles with an awesome longing—
It is the summit of my yearnings—the last lyre!
A sturdy rope and two crossed beams.
As the dark derision of my fate, or
An old, miscarried promise that I betrayed—
Behold, the beams of the gallows standing
Proud in the city, waiting for the condemned!
They stand, silent, leaning on each other,
paired pieces of wood,
And in the center quivers, loose and swaying,
A rope, as gray—in these sad days—as the doused
sorrow of my orphaned Nayirian soul.
A flameless twilight has set around me
And a silence without shadow, without egress,
without shiver,
Like the torment of our days, like the fierce
Anguish of death caging my feckless heart.
And the stores, dismal, crumbling, and the people
Who have gathered now around the beams,
So close to that gloomy lyre of death—
What do they seek, so morose and grim?
And who has conjured this ferocious dream?
And who turned the bright mornings of my soul
into starless nightfall,
And a gray rope with two crossed beams?
Perhaps I, who with a moonstruck heart
Brought no fire to you from afar,
And wished that no lyre would sing praises
To the luminous, bright destinyof Nayiri…

Let me go now, and with inconsolable longing,
With a poet’s passion and blaze,
With the dark song of my sullen days
And the last love of my Nayirian dreams,
Proceed into the flickering twilight,
As a hunted kite, as a specter—
Let me give my neck to that cross-beamed
Yearning—and swing, ghastly and chaste…
Let no other victim be claimed,
No other feet come close to the gallows,
And in my eyes of the hanged,
my troubled homeland,
Let them behold your future of lights.
Let them discern in my bulging eyes
of the strangled,
Your coming bright days—
After me, let no other victim be claimed,
Let no shadow approach the gallows…

June 10, 1920 - Yeghishe Charents
Translated by Tatul Sonentz

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