Paul Celan from “Eigedunkelt”

Alexandra Bentz – Mezzo-Sopran, Aribert Reimann aus Eingedunkelt für Alt-Solo, “Füll die Ödnis”

Here is the original poem followed by my translation:


Füll die Ödnis in die Augensäcke,
den Opferruf, die Salzflut,

komm mit mir zu Atem
und drüber hinaus.


Shovel the void into the eyebags,
the sacrificecall, the saltflood,

come with me to breath
and out beyond.


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6 Responses

  1. Pierre Joris says:

    wondered if comments stick — Poo’s don’t

  2. Thank you for this. I was listening to a lecture by Geoffrey Hill where among other things he discussed your and Michael Hamburger’s translation of “Weggebeizt vom”/”Etched away” – particularly on the subject of the “noem”. I don’t speak much German and don’t really understand the manifold complexities of translation, my only experience of it having been a little bit in my undergraduate studies, between French and English. But I love Celan’s poems so much, so thank you for all you have done with his work

    • Pierre Joris says:

      Thanks for the good words, Clarissa, Would you know if by any chance Hill’s lecture was recorded or transcribed/published anywhere? I’d obviously love to see what he has to say.

  3. You can find it in the list under this link:

    It is the 30 November 2010 Professor of Poetry Inaugural Lecture by Geoffrey Hill – so, nothing too recent! Very interesting though, and I got quite excited when he started talking about Celan 😉

  4. pom3Granade says:

    Danke, dear Pierre.

    Here’s something that I thought you and Nicole might be interested in:

    Alas, it’s too far from us–though, of course, ever too close. Perhaps a kind and generous friend can later on tell us what went on there… Who could refuse the call of violet tulips..?

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