Elena Divarova



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Quo vadis

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Dawn and dusk

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The nature of Japanese verse

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Translated by: Translation – Elka Dimitrova

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You, King–Portalkeeper,

open the portal,

so that King passes –

the King – the Lord…



otvori porti,

da mine tsaryat –

tsaryat gospodaryat...)

We sing and go round in two symmetrical circles. This is us – the children from the neighborhood. With arms raised, we make an archway – a portal through which the next child will pass, who, in his or her turn, will be a King for a few moments. We do not realize the ancient sense, but we carry it in ourselves, and follow the idea of ​​the circle, because the circle is a universal model, it is the Sun, the bread, the snake having bitten its own tail, it is the time that is and is not. All together, we repeat the old rhymes and chants; the words change, one replaces another, there is hardly a word left the way it used to be – in these games having originated a thousand, two thousand, three thousand years ago... But the aim is the same. To be a part of the circle, to pass through the portal – on the other side, in the other world, to change, to rebirth, to raise again.

…a scoop, a pan,

a pot, a lid,


(…lazhichka, panichka,

tendzhera, kapak,

po-hlu-pak!) –

the next circle finishes, the next round, two by two, we make a hoop with our two pairs of arms, we close it and open it, close it and open it...

Time is, and it is not. We sing, we foretell it and we count its annual circles which twist in the square – wedding round dances, festive round dances, winter and summer ones. We are the same people who, thousands of years ago, used to turn the wheels of the round dances, of the chariots, of the mills. We are the same children. We collect and spin our lives: “...a scoop, a pan, a pot, a lid, co-ver-it!” And we cover the time! It is what you put in the pot. If you do not put anything – there is no time. No portal, no King. And the kids are running again, hurrying to play, holding hands and making a circle, making a world, crowning. They do not know how important this work is. Do they not know? They sing, they count, they foretell, they give birth to the time which disappears and appears again in the word, in the hoop of two pairs of arms. Pipe and bagpipe, adze, plumb, spindle, hook and stripe, two

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