Paul Celan

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

Your Hand - Poem by Paul Celan

Your hand full of hours, you came to me – and I said:
‘Your hair is not brown.’
You lifted it, lightly,
on to the balance of grief,
it was heavier than I.

They come to you on their ships, and make it their load,
then put it on sale in the markets of lust.
You smile at me from the deep.
I weep at you from the scale that’s still light.
I weep: Your hair is not brown.
They offer salt-waves of the sea,
and you give them spume.
You whisper: ‘They’re filling the world with me now,
and for you I’m still a hollow way in the heart!
You say: ‘Lay the leaf-work of years by you, it’s time,
that you came here and kissed me.
The leaf-work of years is brown, your hair is not brown.


Comments about Your Hand by Paul Celan

  • Rajnish Manga (8/27/2017 1:20:00 PM)


    They come to you on their ships, and make it their load,
    then put it on sale in the markets of lust.
    You smile at me from the deep.
    @@@ Something strange has transpired through these lines where the equation between you, me, they and their remained a riddle. It indicates the anguish of a disturbed mind. Thanks.
    (Report) Reply

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  • Jozef Neumann (4/14/2016 4:20:00 PM)


    ...a poem like a magnet...you can't get away from it... (Report) Reply

  • Fabrizio Frosini (6/14/2015 9:50:00 AM)


    another translation

    'Your Hand'


    Your Hand full of Hours, you came to me – and I said:

    ‘Your Hair is not brown.’

    So you lifted it, lightly, onto the Balance of Grief, it was

    Heavier than I…

    They come to you on Ships, make it their load, then place it

     on sale in the Markets of Lust –

    You smile at me from the Depths, I weep at you from the

    Scale that’s still light.

    I weep: Your hair is not brown, they offer Salt-Waves of the

    Sea, and you give them spume.

    You whisper: ‘They’re filling the World with me now, and for you

    I’m still a Hollow-Way in the Heart!

    You say: ‘Lay the Leaf-Work of Years beside you, it’s Time that you

    came here and kissed me!

    The Leaf-Work of Years is brown: your Hair is not brown.
    (Report) Reply

  • Fabrizio Frosini (5/18/2015 8:22:00 AM)


    it's wonderful.. don't you think so..? (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: lust, hair, work, grief, smile, sea, light, world, time, heart, kiss



Poem Submitted: Saturday, January 25, 2003



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