70 Poems (Celan, trans. by Hamburger)

I came to Celan by way of Anselm Kiefer, who artwork I admire. I read somewhere that Kiefer was inspired by the poet. I am glad he was because I wasn’t. I had a hard time finding my way into these poems – an occasional like or moment worked for me – but mostly I just turned the pages in search of something that resonated with me. This one did —

The Poles
are within us,
while Awake,
we sleep across, to the Gate
of Mercy,

I lose you to you, that
is my Snow-Comfort,

say, that Jerusalem is,

say, as if I were this
your Whiteness,
as if you were

as if without us we could be we,

I open your leaves, forever,

you bless, you bed
us free.


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