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

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…
Meanwhile,
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
2016

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

P A T E R
“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
2016

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
2016

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

2016

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.

RUBEN SEVAK

 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
(1909)

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

Friday, 24 July 2015

Tatul Sonentz Papazian - SAD SONG

Mi mi
re re re do,
mi mi re re do…
Go on, sing it! Do it!
Break your bloody heart,
you bastard… Break it to bits!
It is of no use to you or anyone now,
drown it now in tears, cast it overboard!
Springtime is gone, classrooms, blackboards
are no longer green, with chalk-white notes
and your little sister is not there any more
to sing notes with you, her loving heart
beating in perfect rhythm with yours --
the one that now stumbles behind
a drunk drummer -- a blundering
bastard, who hums expletives
with no rhythm or no beat…
So sing it! You bastard,
sing! Do re mi re mi
re re do…. Do it!
Do break the bloody thing!

Tatul Sonentz
2015

Tatul Sonentz Papazian - THE VANISHING TREE

The old woman sits on a white wicker chair
alone in the backyard of her grandson’s house
in a small New England town where the air
is crisp and fresh with the smell of the sea…

She sits staring at a lone chestnut tree
shedding its malodorous flowers on a lawn recently mowed by her great-grandson
whose name was the same as her young spouse
whose face -- now a haze in her misty mind --
no longer haunts her lonely bed…

“May you grow old on one pillow,”
her mother had said on her wedding day --
“Mek bardzi vra tzeranaq…” heard a long,
long time ago, long before time stopped
for them on that early spring day far far away, when the sun turned blood red… or was it
the ground he had stood on that turned
crimson, as he fell?  She can no longer tell… though she can clearly see the chestnut tree
his grandfather had planted in their garden as a child – ignoring his mother’s forewarning
of the foul-smelling flowers of the chestnut tree. “I love the smell of chestnuts roasting slowly
on the red hot manghal,” the boy had answered, digging deeper into the native soil…

All in white, the tree was in full bloom then -- like a bride -- and she can even now, after eons, hear a snippet of an old song sung on her wedding  day – “Arevid mernem yar jan…” may I die for your sun, my love… and
 with one fatal blow of the yataghan,
his radiant sun had faded into a faint glow
of life floating in her womb, nourished
by her blood, spared–it seemed--for a fate
that loomed ahead far worse than death –
a life of the living dead….

Later, before freedom would hail at another springtime in May – as a lone servant
in her own house -- in the cold crisp winter of that crimson year, she was told by her savage landlords to cut down some limbs off the bare chestnut tree to burn as firewood to heat a house built on love, now petrified with freezing grief
at the sight of the severed hands and limbs
of its builders and their trees….

“That was the tree of the whole family,”
murmurs the old woman to no one in sight --  for under its canopy, they had collected the spiny burrs from the ground, recovering
the chestnuts and preparing them for the roast –
and the aroma of the sizzling fruit attracted
all the children and grandchildren, as the family gathered as one around that chestnut tree --     not too long after the stench of its flowers
had faded from memory….

Startled by the hand of his grandchild on her frail shoulder the old woman starts sobbing
and begging, “Don’t cut down the chestnut tree,
don’t cut down the family…” startled in his turn
the grandson says “Nani jan we have no chestnut tree in our yard. That’s the pear tree in the neighbor’s backyard you’re looking at... nobody is cutting any…”

Oblivious to her grandson’s plea
the old woman repeats between sobs…
“Don’t cut down the family tree….”

Tatul Sonentz
2010

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Sevan Haneshian-Bedourian - FABLE

Pages fabricated from the sad-sweet
nights of the soul --
who can read the mislaid words
of whole pages?

There was a shrouded sky
on the double gazed globe,
a mystifying mystery
tethering their souls together…
And they sang the song
of the centuries silently,
and silently departed…

Like stormy waves, heart’s blood
crashed against pulsating essence
and calmed down in silence…

They carved regards
in the parchment of their souls,
heartbeats hollered
and ceased in silence…

The soul’s sacred flower
froze beneath life’s iceberg…
But, from the silent
echoes of the pages
burst forth the stormy sky
and poured down buckets
on their chilled hearts.


Sevan Haneshian-Bedourian
Translated by Tatul Sonentz

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Googoosh- LULLABY

Go to sleep
Your dream is pretty
The moonlight is a flower
With a thousand shades at night
Don't you wake from bed time stories
Don't you step in the wake of tears

Go to sleep, I am awake
Like every night, the wolf will not
Jump over the garden wall
Now that your kite has no thread left
It won't reach up to the torn clouds

Go to sleep, mummy will stay
She loves you so much, she does,
She’ll sit still here beside your cot

All is but once upon a time
Your eyes tell me the sea’s envious
But should you throw pebbles in it
It would release the devil out
To fight me with tooth and nails
And clouds would carry you away
Back on my own in our garden 
I would wither away, alone

Go to sleep, mummy will stay
She loves you so much, she does,
She’ll sit still here beside your cot

Go to sleep, mummy will stay
She loves you so much, she does,

She’ll sit still here beside your cot


Googoosh
adapted from the farsi by Sylvie M. Miller

Version française


لالایی کن بخواب
خوابت قشنگه
گل مهتاب شبا هزارتا رنگه
یه وقت بیدار نشی از خواب قصه
یه وقت پا نذاری تو شهر غصه
لالایی کن مامان چشمهاش بیداره
مثل هر شب لولو پشت دیواره
دیگه بادبادکت نخ نداره
نمی رسه به ابر پاره پاره
لالایی کن لالایی کن
مامان تنهات نمی ذاره
دوست داره دوست داره
میشینه پای گهواره
همه چی یکی بودو یکی نبوده
به من چشمات میگه
دریا حسوده
اگه سنگ بندازی
تو اب دریا
میاد شیطون با من
به چنگ و دعوا
دیگه ابرا تو رو از من میگیرن
بالای باغچمون بی تو میمیرم
لالایی کن لالایی کن
مامان تنهات نمی ذاره
دوست داره دوست داره
میشینه پای گهواره
لالایی کن لالایی کن
مامان تنهات نمی ذاره
دوست دارم دوست داره
میشینه پای گهواره
لالایی کن لالایی کن
مامان تنهات نمی ذاره
دوست دارم دوست داره
میشینه پای گهواره

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Tatul Sonentz Papazian - CLOUDY SKIES


Some days alone
Under cloudy skies
No one I think holding a stone
Seems to dare or even tries
Hurling it at falsehood and lies…
I now live in past centuries,
Never truly grasping
Each and every day’s
Intrusion and disrupting
Rumble of angry forays
Entering the realm of war
Against so-called hostile arrays
Long kept in sight with a far
Look into centuries
Yet to appear on the altar
Made of man’s dark fantasies…

I now live in silence
Smelling dying roses
Shuffling along in slippers
Yet to be worn
Over time left for me
Under cloudy skies…


Tatul Sonentz
2015