Paul Celan, Six late poems

My translations of six late poems by Paul Celan. (Cf. previous post October 30th for biographical information on Celan).

THREADSUNS
over the greyblack wastes.
A tree-
high thought
grabs the light-tone: there are
still songs to sing beyond
humans.

IN THE SNAKE CARRIAGE, past
the white cypress,
through the flood
they drove you.

But in you, from
birth,
the other wellspring foamed,
on the black
jet of memory
you climbed to daylight.

HOW YOU die yourself out in me:

even in the last
tattered
knot of breath
you are there with a
splinter
of life.

I CAN STILL SEE YOU: an echo,
touchable with feel-
words, on parting’s
ridge.

Your face quietly shies
when suddenly
there is lamp-like brightness
in me, just in the place
where one most painfully says Never.

I HEAR THE AXE HAS BLOSSOMED,
I hear the place cannot be named,

I hear the bread that looks at him
heals the hanged man,
the bread his wife baked for him,

I hear they call life
the only refuge.

I FOOL ABOUT with my night,
we bag
everything
that tore loose here,

load me up with your
darkness too,
your halved, voyaging
eyes,

it too should hear,
from every direction,
the irrefutable echo
of every eclipse.

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~ by peterln on November 4, 2010.

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