Paul Celan: 70 Poems (trans. Michael Hamburger) (Persea, 2013), second selection
at times when
only the void stood between us we got
all the way to each other.
end of 'So many constellations'
we were, are, shall
As one speaks to stone, like
from the chasm, from
a home become a
sister to me, hurled
towards me, you,
you that long ago,
you in the nothingness of a night,
you in the multi-night en-
opening stanza of 'Radix, Matrix'
tunes in to light's pitch; there are
still songs to be sung on the other side
from 'Thread suns'
Light was. Salvation.
last line of 'Once'
Think of it:
the bog soldier of Massada
teaches himself home, most
every barb in the wire.
opening stanza of 'Think of It'
a green, not of this place,
with down covered the chin
of the rock which the orphans
last stanza of 'The eternities struck'
does not roar across,
it hurls back December, November,
it turns the soil of its wounds,
it opens to you, young
second and final stanza of 'Well-digger in the wind'
I hear that they call life
our only refuge.
last stanza of 'I hear that the axe has flowered'
into the thorn-covered
rock recess. (Get drunk
and call it
first stanza of 'Januaried'
Don't adjourn yourself, you.
last stanza of 'Mapesbury Road'
Paul Celan: 70 Poems can easily be ordered from your local independent bookstore.