Corona Poem by Paul Celan

Paul Celan

Paul Celan

(Cernăuţi, Bukovin) Chernivtsi, Ukraine


Rating: 3.8

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 from
the 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.

Translated by Michael Hamburger

Fabrizio Frosini 20 May 2015

but read my comments * [ '' PSALM '' ] '' Hamburger’s translations are more definite. [..] no one translation will ever be adequate enough. [..] A reader wishing to fully intake Celan’s words in English must become a comparative reader, a critical reader, and most importantly a reader who understands that perhaps one of Celan’s most discomforting elements is that he didn’t always wish to be understood. '' * [Goodrich, J., Rhyme or Reason? : Successfully Translating the Poetry of Paul Celan,2008]

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Terry Craddock 24 December 2016

yes no one translation will ever be adequate, therefore among a sea of possible translations, saviour and save the best, those that touch the essence of this poem, that touch the spirit and profound meaning of this poem, so that those not fluent in the mother language can share some of the possibilities; when a poet fluent in language translates heart felt meaning, a compliment translation is written, which can be as radiant and sublime as the original filled with a spark of cosmic insight like the original, for the original is will of the wisp life within individual friendship experiences seen grasped in nuts of time shelled

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Fabrizio Frosini 18 May 2015

in German - original version: Corona Aus der Hand frißt der Herbst mir sein Blatt: wir sind Freunde. Wir schälen die Zeit aus den Nüssen und lehren sie gehn: die Zeit kehrt zurück in die Schale. Im Spiegel ist Sonntag, im Traum wird geschlafen, der Mund redet wahr. Mein Aug steigt hinab zum Geschlecht der Geliebten: wir sehen uns an, wir sagen uns Dunkles, wir lieben einander wie Mohn und Gedächtnis, wir schlafen wie Wein in den Muscheln, wie das Meer im Blutstrahl des Mondes. Wir stehen umschlungen im Fenster, sie sehen uns zu von der Straße: es ist Zeit, daß man weiß! Es ist Zeit, daß der Stein sich zu blühen bequemt, daß der Unrast ein Herz schlägt. Es ist Zeit, daß es Zeit wird. Es ist Zeit. Paul Celan (b.23 November 1920)

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Bernard F. Asuncion 24 December 2016

It reminds me of the song TIME popularized by ALAN PARSONS PROJECT++++++++++++++++++

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Edward Kofi Louis 24 December 2016

Room for sleeping! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.

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5. Although I attempt translating poems of other poets, I have found it quite difficult to translate my own poems.

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4. I am bilingual (at least) . I write both in Malayalam and English. But, I have realised very often that, it is the poem that decides which language it would be born. I have not much of a choice there.

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3. When the poet uses a word in German in a poem, the word's cultural lineage imparts a special contextual meaning and positioning. This cannot be attained in a translation in English, because the English equivalent of the original German word lacks these…

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2. Even such a poet can do only 50% justice, I repeat. Even the original poet's translation, if he makes one, will have 90% of aesthetic beauty of the original. Because of the limitations of the languages…

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I don't read German. So I can't comment on the quality of translation. But Terry Craddock is quite right. Only a talented poet who fluent in both the original and target languages can make 50% justice..

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Paul Celan

Paul Celan

(Cernăuţi, Bukovin) Chernivtsi, Ukraine
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