армянский триптих / Armenian Triptych

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арарат —
шапку твою из рукава достану,
на брови надвину —
никто не заметит

выйду на лестницу —
первая травой заросла, вторая из камня,
а на третьей снег не сошёл
— ереван мой

берег есть, а воды нет
храм на берегу есть, берега нет
небо над храмом есть, храма нет
отдай, что взял — севан!


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English Translation

ararat —
I pull down your cap
from a sleeve and don dark
brows so no one will see —

go out on the stairs —
the first overgrown in grass, the second stone,
snow upon the third
— my erevan

there is a shore, but no water,
a cathedral on the shore, but no shore,
sky above the cathedral, but no cathedral,
return what’s been taken — sevan!

Ararat is an especially sacred place for the citizens of Erevan. A majority of the time it’s not visible from the city due to clouds and smog. When it finally does appear it almost seems like a miracle. Erevan is also notable as being a city of terraces on a mountain slope with a great deal of climactic variation. In winter you might find snow in the upper section and grass in the city’s valley. As for Lake Sevan, this used to be another Armenian miracle. Prior to the Soviet period, the lake remained largely ice free throughout winter — taking in and reflecting the surrounding landscape. Continued government intervention and irrigation schemes have significantly affected water levels and the area’s entire ecosystem.

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