Paul Celan

(23 November 1920 - 20 April 1970 / (Cernăuţi, Bukovin) Chernivtsi, Ukraine)

Corona - Poem by Paul Celan

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

Comments about Corona by Paul Celan

  • Terry Craddock (12/24/2016 7:09:00 PM)

    '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.'

    if we meditate upon these words for a few minutes, many philosophical meanings enter the mind, so I will rob no one of this meditative journey; just one obvious possibility, in the summer of life we may store nuts and live experience life in sunshine, store memories in bright golden sunlight, our experiences are life lived shelled from the nut experiences, friends share walk our nuts of time, we hold all seasons all experiences lived in our hand, experiences lived breathed we reached out and plucked broke open ate as nuts cracked shelled with friends shared, time lives inside outside our shell as we live inside outside time, we may take of time walk in time share our time, crak open time possibilities, time choices before time returns to the shell;

    the first stanza can easily be meditated on for hald an hour, the lines line by line, expanded into other lines other possibilities, let the lines wash over you in silent patient and they will speak, if you take time, timeless time to listen effortlessly
    (Report) Reply

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Daniel Brick (12/24/2016 1:15:00 PM)

    The philosopher Hans Gadamer who reveres Celan predicts in another century or so we will comprehend Celan's poems. Until then we can approxomarte its meaning, as his biographer and translator John Feltstimer does. // CORONA is Celan's response to Rilke's AUTUMN DAY which exuberantly celebrates the plentitude at the source of th]ngs. The image of the stone flowering occurs in later poems as well..Can these bits an pieces add up to an interpretatuin? (Report) Reply

  • Muzahidul Reza (12/24/2016 7:38:00 AM)

    Autunm eats its leaf out of my hand: we are friends.romantic written (Report) Reply

  • Seamus O Brian (12/24/2016 7:25:00 AM)

    Articulated visions of an artist who sees a canvas of which we are given glimpses. Fascinating to read and contemplate, as we look through the light of the projector and attempt to understand the artist within. (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (12/24/2016 6:53:00 AM)

    Dark words
    Room for sleeping! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (12/24/2016 12:37:00 AM)

    It reminds me of the song TIME popularized by ALAN PARSONS PROJECT++++++++++++++++++ (Report) Reply

  • Fabrizio Frosini (5/20/2015 9:59:00 AM)

    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]
    (Report) Reply

    Terry Craddock (12/24/2016 7:19:00 PM)

    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

  • Fabrizio Frosini (5/19/2015 2:23:00 AM)

    I prefer this translation:


    Out of my hand autumn eats its leaf: we are friends.
    We shell time from the nuts and teach it to walk;
    time goes back into its shell.

    In the mirror it is Sunday,
    in the dream there is sleeping,
    the mouth speaks the truth.

    My eye descends to the sex of my loved one:
    we look at each other,
    we whisper darkness to each other,
    we love each other like poppy and memory,
    we sleep like wine in the sea shells,
    like the sea in the ray of blood of the moon.

    We stand entwined in the window, they watch us from the street:
    it is time the people knew.
    It is time that the stone condescended to bloom,
    that unrest inspired a heart to beat.
    It is time that it became time.

    It is time.

    © 1995, Vivian Smith
    From: New Selected Poems
    Publisher: Angus & Robertson, Sydney,1995
    ISBN: 0 207 186316
    (Report) Reply

  • Fabrizio Frosini (5/18/2015 8:02:00 AM)

    in German - original version:


    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)
    (Report) Reply

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User Rating:
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Read poems about / on: mirror, flower, truth, moon, dream, sleep, time, people, sea, dark, heart, friend

Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Poem Edited: Wednesday, November 23, 2011

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