Saturday, March 02, 2002

two from Celan

O little root of a dream

you hold me here

undermined by blood,

no longer visible to anyone,

property of death.

Curve a face

that there may be speech, of earth,

of ardor, of

things with eyes, even

here, where you read me blind,



where you

refute me,

to the letter.


Don't sign your name

between worlds,


the manifold of meanings,

trust the tearstain,

learn to live.

(Glottal Stop : 101 Poems by Paul Celan. translated by Nikolai Popov and Heather McHugh, 107 - 108)

Asked to submit a favourite ... ... quest to find a new favourite that will live & redefine tomorrow as well as yesterday ... from the Preface of glottal stop H M, N P write:

Paul Celan died by drowning. He did it not just reflexively, but transitively: He died by drowning himself. As figures of floatation and immersion recur throughtout the poems, particularly those that refer to writing, it is natural that - like so much else in the Celanian legend - those figures come to seem fatefully proleptic. (As subjects and objects of or own regards, readers and writers of our own lives, we hold out as long as we - like "dreamproof tugs - each /with a vulture-claw / towing a part /of the still- /unsunken sign.") Paul Celan's attraction for readers today may be deeply ideogrammatical: He made himself a glancing stroke, a winking wave, withdrawal's sign. As waters rise toward iris-level, as the eye-globe is covered, a greatening force of mind informs the sensual field. In the face of grief, in the light of death, in the vale of tears, what does intellect do? Of sinking things, thinking sings.