Terrible Beauty - Poem by Sadiqullah Khan
The tree roots at Auschwitz
Two, a flower-
on to die of hemlock.
Aesthecising death camps
To a receptive ‘you’
In a bottle, either pick or leave.
‘a desperate dialogue’
A sort of homecoming.
Narrowing counterpoint Engfuhrung
Negation, un split yes and no. Fudge.
Thinner less knowable finer
Paradoxically absurd, anomalous amongst
Highly un - imitable
Attention is the natural prayer of the soul
Explicit is ugly.
Round and round
I break and break
Ashen hair, golden hair
Mother is waiting for the cloud to rain on the well.
Yellowish garden eyes rolling in front
Keep the essence
Terrifying words on a breath rhythm
Roll in the line
For the hammered syllabi with hammer –
Death held him
When all fell away from him
‘Think of it’
The axes in the barbed wires.
They were singing.
She sent bread to her husband
To heal him. Hanging.
A leaf without tree
Fugue of Death…
-To Paul Celan (1920-1970) , poet and translator, Romania.
Bremen Prize speech by Paul Celan:
“Only one thing remained reachable, close and secure amid all losses: language. Yes, language. In spite of everything, it remained secure against loss. But it had to go through its own lack of answers, through terrifying silence, through the thousand darknesses of murderous speech. It went through. It gave me no words for what was happening, but went through it. Went through and could resurface, 'enriched' by it all.”
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