A new translation of the poem Corona by Paul Celan—

haunted examiner of the Holocaust, and one of the most renowned poets 

to emerge post World War II— from the German by Matthew Saks

 


 

 

 

Corona

 

Autumn eats a leaf from my hand: we are friends.
From the nuts we shell time, and we teach it to walk:
time returns to the shell.

 

In the mirror it’s Sunday,
in the dream there will be sleeping,
the mouth speaks the truth.

 

My eye descends to the sex of my lover:
we look at each other,
we speak darkly,
we love one another like the poppy flower and memory,
we sleep like wine does in mussels,
as the sea in the bloody light of the moon.

 

We stand embracing in the window, people see us from the street:
it is time that they knew!
It is time that the stone consented to bloom,
that a heart beat with restlessness.
It is time that the time come.

 

It is time.

  

 

* * * 

 

  

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.

 

 

 


 

About the translator, Matthew Saks

About the poet, Paul Celan 



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