Poems of Paul Celan

Poems of Paul Celan Paul Celan Michael Hamburger
  • Title: Poems of Paul Celan
  • Author: Paul Celan Michael Hamburger
  • ISBN: 9780856462658
  • Page: 477
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Poems of Paul Celan Paul Celan Michael Hamburger Poems of Paul Celan In the writing of Paul Celan even we readers who can hear poetry only dimly in German can sense the greatness of his invention the cadences of a music tilted against music s complacency words punished
    In the writing of Paul Celan even we readers who can hear poetry only dimly in German can sense the greatness of his invention the cadences of a music tilted against music s complacency words punished for their plausibility by being reinvented and fused together and broken apart syntax chopped and stretched to crack and expose its crust of dead rhetoric Michael Hamburg In the writing of Paul Celan even we readers who can hear poetry only dimly in German can sense the greatness of his invention the cadences of a music tilted against music s complacency words punished for their plausibility by being reinvented and fused together and broken apart syntax chopped and stretched to crack and expose its crust of dead rhetoric Michael Hamburger has earned our gratitude for rendering these poems into a reasonably inventive English Robert Pinsky, THE NEW REPUBLIC.Parallel German text and English translation.
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      Paul Celan Michael Hamburger

    About Paul Celan Michael Hamburger


    1. Poet, translator, essayist, and lecturer, influenced by French Surrealism and Symbolism Celan was born in Cern u i, at the time Romania, now Ukraine, he lived in France, and wrote in German His parents were killed in the Holocaust the author himself escaped death by working in a Nazi labor camp Death is a Master from Germany , Celan s most quoted words, translated into English in different ways, are from the poem Todesfuge Death Fugue Celan s body was found in the Seine river in late April 1970, he had committed suicide.


    244 Comments


    1. How does one possibly write an adequate review or response to such a book Celan s work first entered my life during research for my Master s Thesis on language and brutalisation in Nazi Germany I fell in love almost immediately Since then I have read numerous translations, with side by side German texts where possible, and any of his prose, correspondence or speeches I could locate Any response to a reading of Celan in translation must navigate the fact that the German language defines him His w [...]

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    2. Speak But keep yes and no unsplitI make no claims I am not so presumptuous as to give an impression of having telescoped like a Galileo into Paul Celan s poetic cosmos, his crumbling stars and dug up black holes, and a breathing, foaming spirit of life that is indestructible in the face of annihilation So all I will do here is hang on to that stony oppression bearing down on my soul by the ferocious power of his verse what I will do here is convey something of the havoc wrought in me through a m [...]

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    3. Read in 1999.Devastating.Death Fugueby Paul Celan translated by Jerome RothenbergBlack milk of morning we drink you at dusktimewe drink you at noontime and dawntime we drink you at nightwe drink and drinkwe scoop out a grave in the sky where it s roomy to lieThere s a man in this house who cultivates snakes and who writeswho writes when it s nightfall nach Deutschland your golden hair Margareta he writes it and walks from the house and the stars all start flashing he whistles his dogs to draw ne [...]

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    4. Paul Celan stands among the most powerful poets His poems are distilled and piercing, usually compact yet heavy constructions of well chosen words Most poetry readers know his story Born in eastern Europe to Jewish, German speaking parents, he lost his parents to Nazi criminals, as well as any sense of home, I would assume It s strangely just that the greatest poet of the holocaust is a native German speaker S he just as well could have been Polish or Dutch or Italian or Hungarian But here we ha [...]

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    5. I understand that, as a general rule, assessment of a work s quality should not be confused with moral judgements about the author s character Monsters can write like angels, and vice versa It s immaterial whether or not T.S Eliot was beastly to his wife it does nothing to alter the uncanny power of his poetry, the way whole chunks of it worm their way into your brain to the point you find yourself muttering lines under your breath, without even knowing precisely what they mean.I also understand [...]

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    6. Ellerin zamanlarla dolu geldin bana dedim ki Kahverengi de il sa lar n Bunun zerine onlar hafif e ac n n terazisine b rakt n benden a rd larSana gemilerle gelip y kl yorlar, sonra sat a kar yorlarhepsini ehvetin pazarlar nda Derinlerden geliyor g l msemen, ben ise hafif kalan kefede a lamaktay m A l yorum kahverengi de il sa lar n, denizi sunmaktalarsen onlar dalgaland r rkenF s ld yorsun d nyay doldurmaktalar benimle, bense, bombo bir yoldan ba ka bir ey de ilim senin y re inde Diyorsun ki ku a [...]

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    7. This is not so much a review as thoughts I had while reading these poems Adorno is probably most famous for saying something like, how can there be poetry after Auschwitz Maybe that is not exactly what he wrote, or maybe he didn t mean that there can be no poetry after Auschwitz, but rather what would a poetry look like after what had happened, how can one return to the old poetry, to say Romanticism when what had happened happened and the words of old poetry had been co opted into the totalitar [...]

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    8. Thread Suns Thread sunsabove the grey black wilderness.A tree high thoughttunes in to light s pitch there arestill songs to be sung on the other sideof mankind.

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    9. N o de f cil entendimento Lido, relidoem sil ncio, em voz altaE mesmo assimMas belo, harmonioso, comoventeComo este, que talvez n o o entenda como Paul Celan quer, mas como eu quero UM DIA E MAIS OUTROVento do Su o, tu O sil ncio passou nos frente, uma segundavida, n tida.Ganhei, perdi, acredit mosem maravilhas sombrias, o galho,escrito pressa no c u, transportou nos, cresceuem tra os brancos para a rbita lunar, uma manh saltou para cima de ontem, dispersos,busc mos o candeeiro, espalheitudo nas [...]

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    10. From Early PoemsThe urns of stillness are empty.In branchesthe swelter of speechless songschokes black.Blunt hourpostsgrope toward a strange time.A wingbeat whirls.For the owls in the heartdeath dawns.Treason falls into your eyes My shadow strives with your scream The east smokes after this night .Only dyingsparkles Darkness, pg 5From Poppy and MemoryMould green is the house of oblivion.At each of its blowing gates your beheaded minstrel goes blue.For you he beats on a drum of moss and bitter pu [...]

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    11. Your hand full of hours, you came to me and I said Your hair is not brown So you lifted it lightly on to the scales of grief it weighed than I My eye moves down to the sex of my loved one we look at each other, we exchange dark words, we love each other like poppy and recollection, we sleep like wine in the conches, like the sea in the moon s blood ray Thread suns above the grey black wilderness A treehigh thought tunes in to light s pitch there are still songs to be sung on the other sideof ma [...]

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    12. Beautiful, sober, passionate, redemptive poetry It s been a while, but want to read again Somehow reminds me of Rothko s black on black paintings Profound, postwar German Jewish poet writing in German An encounter not to be missed.

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    13. Poems so strange and stirring that you re compelled to recite them aloud and end up with a mouth full of broken teeth.

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    14. Paul Celan den ilk defa iir okudum ve harikayd zellikle eviriye bay ld m eviri iirlerindeki duygu eksikli ini hi hissetmedim Aksine airin duygular n net bir ekilde g rebildim Tavsiye edilir

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    15. From Mohn und Ged chtnis 1952 Autumn eats its leaf out of my hand we are friends.From the nuts we shell time and we teach it to walk then time returns to the shell.In the mirror it s Sunday,in dream there is room for sleeping,our mouths speak the truth.My eye moves down to the sex of my loved one we look at each other,we exchange dark words,we love each other like poppy and recollection,we sleep like wine in the conches,like the sea in the moon s bloody ray.We stand by the window embracing, and [...]

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    16. NASIL DA lmektesin i imde y pranm son birnefes yuma nda bile,bir hayatk ym gibisapl s n.

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    17. Only for the battle hardened reader, for there is no spring, no glee in Celan s poems There is but the Black milk of daybreak And most of the poems are indecipherable, unless read very slowly and repeatedly, when they start glimpsing through with some meanings I could not much understand the later poems, ones that blast through with a flurry of intended half images that my mind couldn t both create and connect at the same time.My favorite poems are listed below, with a line or two that I will ab [...]

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    18. He speaks truly who speaks the shade I was eighteen and obsessed with this verse I can t remember where I found it, maybe I had read it in a book, maybe someone had given it to me we used to collect quotes then I knew it was Paul Celan s, but I did not know Paul Celan I did not even know how to pronounce his name it sounded French to me, but I had a vague suspicion it could be Romanian And of course, living in a communist Romania I couldn t possible make a genuine research and soon I forgot abou [...]

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    19. Todesfuge Schwarze Milch der Fr he wir trinken sie abends wir trinken sie mittags und morgens wir trinken sie nachts wir trinken und trinken wir schaufeln ein Grab in den L ften da liegt man nicht eng Death FugueBlack milk of morning we drink you at dusktimewe drink you at noontime and dawntime we drink you at nightwe drink and drinkwe scoop out a grave in the sky where it s roomy to lieEnglish Translation translated by Jerome RothenbergDeathfugueBlack milk of daybreak we drink it at evening we [...]

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    20. to stand in the shadowof the scar up in the air stand for no one and nothing.unrecognized,for you alone.with all there is room for in that,even withoutlanguage.

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    21. I understand that, as a general rule, assessment of a work s quality should not be confused with moral judgements about the author s character Monsters can write like angels, and vice versa It s immaterial whether or not T.S Eliot was beastly to his wife it does nothing to alter the uncanny power of his poetry, the way whole chunks of it worm their way into your brain to the point you find yourself muttering lines under your breath, without even knowing precisely what they mean.I also understand [...]

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    22. Celan s poems are magnificent Todesfuge Fugue Of Death is absolute masterpiece I will return to this book soon It was such a pleasure reading it.

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    23. Modern verse is always difficult to read, and I expect little from it since the freedom gives people far too much rope to hang themselves you need an infallible ear, like D H Lawrence, to determine where the lines should end Paul Celan is no exception in that most of his poems leave me simply baffled Part of the problem is the shadow of the Holocaust lingering over many of the poems an event too awesome and sublime to reduce to words, seemingly reducing Celan to slapping down words and fractured [...]

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    24. I haven t read this book since undergraduate college, but I felt I had to go back and sort through Hamburger s English translations still the best of Celan s poems with a appreciative and critical eye The intensity of my youth may have faded, but the intensity of these poems still burns like a sun.Briefly Paul Celan was born Paul Antschel in Czernovitz, Romania, to a German speaking Jewish family His surname was later spelled Ancel, and he eventually adopted the anagram Celan as his pen name In [...]

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    25. One of the things Noam Chomsky did to revolutionize linguistics was to point out that you could make sentences that were grammatically correct but did not make sense His observation freed linguists to devote their attention to grammar without worrying about meaning, as they had tended to do An example he used is this sentence Colorless ideas sleep furiously It seems to me that when Chomsky asserts this he is using make in a narrow sense The phrase make sense for him means something like to harmo [...]

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    26. This is the first book of poetry I read over a long period of time, in snatches, and I have the feeling that Paul Celan is meant to be read that way As Hamburger the translator says so aptly, The process of reception, therefore, cannot be other than gradual and slowd it seems likely that the translation of his work will also have to be done in stages, patiently, for a long time to come Besides, there are so many amazing lines that you have to just stop and let them linger in you I have to admit, [...]

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    27. A key moment in reading this book was the thought Oh Celan is just like Lorca But while the Spanish modernist s use of surreal and disjunctive imagery seemed to affirm some kind of subconscious world thick with significance, Celan s seem to whirl away from it All his poems exist in this weird, washy space, where imagery appears out of a void and sinks back into a void.His later poems especially begin to get very weird At least in his earlier poems there s a palpable sense of beauty that keeps th [...]

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    28. In the introduction, Hamburger notes that Celan s work confronts us with difficulty and paradox The we try to concentrate on the poem itself, on its ode of utterance, which includes both theme and manner, the we are made aware that difficulty and paradox are of its essence Examples of this paradox can be seen clearly in many of the poems I CAN STILL SEE YOU an echothat can be groped towards with antennawords, on the ridge of parting.Your face quietly shieswhen suddenlythere is lamplike brightn [...]

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    29. Celan is a great wordsmith, though I think my rating of this collection is lower for two reasons First, certain nuances of the prose are lost in the translation from German to English, and second I think part of the popularity of this work stems from the circumstances from which he came Celan s poetry grows out of his experiences as a holocaust survivor, which to me seems to add some sort of false weight to it Not that holocaust writing shouldn t be treasured for the history it preserves, but th [...]

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