Paul Celan Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 30 quotes)
A poem, as a manifestation of language and thus essentially dialogue, can be a message in a bottle, sent out in the –not always greatly hopeful-belief that somewhere and sometime it could wash up on land, on heartland perhaps. Poems in this sense too are under way: they are making toward something. Toward what? Toward something standing open, occupiable, perhaps toward an addressable Thou, toward an addressable reality.
Speak you too, speak as the last, say out your say. Speak- But don’t split off No from Yes. Give your say this meaning too: Give it the shadow. Give it shadow enough, Give it as much As you know is spread round you from Midnight to midday and midnight. Look around: See how things all come alive- By death! Alive! Speaks true who speaks shadow. But now the place shrinks, where you stand: Where now, shadow-stripped, where? Climb. Grope upwards. Thinner you grow, less knowable, finer! Finer: a thread The star wants to descend on: So as to swim down beliow, down here Where it sees itself shimmer: in the swell Of wandering words.
Count up the almonds, Count what was bitter and kept you waking, Count me in too: I sought your eye when you glanced up and no one would see you, I spun that secret thread Where the dew you mused on Slid down to pitchers Tended by a word that reached no one’s heart. There you first fully entered the name that is yours, you stepped to yourself on steady feet, the hammers swung free in the belfry of your silence, things overheard thrust through to you, what’s dead put it’s arm around you too, and the three of you walked through the evening. Render me bitter. Number me among the almonds
With a changing key, you unlock the house where the snow of what’s silenced drifts. Just like the blood that bursts from Your eye or mouth or ear, so your key changes. Changing your key changes the word That may drift with flakes. Just like the wind that rebuffs you, Clenched round your word is the snow.
Reachable, near and not lost, there remained in the midst of the losses this one thing: language. It, the language, remained, not lost, yes, in spite of everything. But it had to pass through its own answerlessness, pass through frightful muting, pass through the thousand darknesses of deathbringing speech. It passed through and gave back no words for that which happened; yet it passed through this happening. Passed through and could come to light again, “enriched” by all this.
Poetry is perhaps this: an Atemwende, a turning of our breath. Who knows, perhaps poetry goes its way—the way of art—for the sake of just such a turn? And since the strange, the abyss and Medusa’s head, the abyss and the automaton, all seem to lie in the same direction—is it perhaps this turn, this Atemwende, which can sort out the strange from the strange? It is perhaps here, in this one brief moment, that Medusa’s head shrivels and the automaton runs down? Perhaps, along with the I, estranged and freed here, in this manner, some other thing is also set free?
Autunm 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 blood ray. We stand by the window embracing, and people look up fromthe street: it is time they knew! It is time the stone made an effort to flower, time unrest had a beating heart. It is time it were time. It is time.