Thursday, April 22, 2010

Commemorating Paul Celan

Pierre Joris commemorates the fortieth anniversary of Paul Celan's death (on April 20):
[Celan] left the (very noisy, as he had complained to friends) apartment on avenue Emile Zola, walked to the Pont Mirabeau (the name of a bridge across the Seine near by his flat, but of course also the title of a famous Apollinaire poem) and went into the water. Below, my [Joris's] translation of the last poem Paul Celan wrote, starting it around April first and finishing it on the 13th.
Vinegrowers dig up
the darkhoured watch,
depth for depth,
you read,
the invisible
one commands the wind
to stay in bounds,
you read,
the Open Ones carry
the stone behind the eye,
it recognizes you,
on the Sabbath.
Here's a recording of Celan reading his poem "Corona" (with subtitles):

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