lunedì 16 marzo 2015

"The girlfriend of the Lake" by Roupen Zartarian


translation by Jennifer Seta Sahagian-Walker 

Roupen Zartarian, Armenian Writer
killed during Armenian Genocide

I

On the banks of the lake (Van) existed, once two villages, one still exists, the other disappeared under the waters.
In what no longer exists, a young woman was nicknamed "the girlfriend of the Lake." Every morning, well before sunrise, when the lake caresses its shores under the kisses of the breeze and the water rippling in a slow tremor, the girlfriend of the lake was intended, from the shore, a vague black bird swimming in the distance and that was disappearing, losing in the wave.
A light emanated from his face and fell into the water; his stature was as slender willows that rise along the rivers; her hair that were flowing over her shoulders like a stream, you would have said they were moonbeams gliding along a tremulous, and his eyes those of deer fleeing to the mountains. When, in the morning, s'allentava from the lake, the fish s'agitavano strongly.

II

Every night, very late, at midnight a glimmer wavering flickers on the shore of the lake and has the air of making signs to the waters; and, suddenly, you feel a surge of water for foam; wrapped in white foam, a young man rises from the water, beautiful, as born from the foam. And every night, all alone, at the pebbles and close to the frogs of the lake, in the solitude of night, water lovers love each other until dawn. In the dense night, the silence is broken by the croaking of the frogs that extending and accheta water.
And when the morning star rises on the opposite village, behind the mountains, the son of the lake takes to guide and stretches its arms towards the waters; the lover follows him with her eyes, she looks at him swim away, belittle and become a black bird, a point and then disappear.
At daybreak, when the girlfriend of the lake returns home, the waves strike the shore and fish toss themselves with honesty.

III

One day, an old neighbor got wind of it, he told the husband of the girlfriend of the lake.
That night, the light was still signals, and the young man had just arrived in the middle of the lake, when suddenly, in the night a furious hand snatched the lantern from her hand, threw it to the ground, grabbed the woman by the hair; vain, she cried, begged; the groom was relentless. And dying in the lake, she cursed the groom, the old and the village.
In the aftermath, the star of the morning arose down behind the mountains, in the hour in which the lovers of the lake used to take leave; the shepherd who had slept on the mountain, descending he found neither village nor men. The lake must have swallowed whole.
Now, every night, in the place where was the village, a gleam, it is said, you turn on the water, at midnight; in the morning, the hour when Venus check, it is extinguished, the lake stirs, and two white birds red-billed appear; they run through the placid wave gently, make it flow smoothly the placid wave, make it gush small streams, then disappear and you never see them during the day.
Lake, do not tell anyone their name!