Paul Celan

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

Night Ray - Poem by Paul Celan

Most brightly of all burned the hair of my evening loved one:
to her I send the coffin of lightest wood.
Waves billow round it as round the bed of our dream in Rome;
it wears a white wig as I do and speaks hoarsely:
it talks as I do when I grant admittance to hearts.
It knows a French song about love, I sang it in autumn
when I stopped as a tourist in Lateland and wrote my letters
to morning.

A fine boat is that coffin carved in the coppice of feelings.
I too drift in it downbloodstream, younger still than your eye.
Now you are young as a bird dropped dead in March snow,
now it comes to you, sings you its love song from France.
You are light: you will sleep through my spring till it's over.
I am lighter:
in front of strangers I sing.


Comments about Night Ray by Paul Celan

  • Fabrizio Frosini (5/18/2015 8:23:00 AM)


    I'm fond of this poem, too. It stays between a love poem and an elegy.. it is both (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: autumn, song, snow, spring, hair, dream, sleep, light, night, love



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003



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