Sunday, March 3, 2013

Paul Celan

Who would have thought
                                     In this late age
                                                              There could be

 Such Saviours

          Created not from man’s unbending Religion
                                                                                   of fairy tales
                                                                                          of perennial wars
                                                                                                     of an eye for an eye
                                                                                                         of tooth for bloodly tooth
                                                                                          Begetting that nameless injustice

Of isolation, Of Shame, Of apartness
                                                            Of rootless co-existence with the infernal Desert,
                                                   Scattering her sacred grains through tribes                                                                               Whom nobody knows anymore,

                               Generation through Generation, fragments through fragments
                                                         splinters from the broken jar
                                        Of splinters, glass projecting from the insufferable glass
                                                                Of your insufferable heart,
Splintering the insufferable heart of your history.

So that was with you
                              Conceived near the Fatherland’s dark edge
                                     When the black noon of reason hung too high
                                            When the scurrying rats would take human form
                                                 When the white coats delivered one from this world
                                                    When the Fatherland would teach you his famous “Todesfuge”


Later from that impossibility, how you questioned
                Him, one of them, the Fatherland’s Philosopher Son
                     In the black forest of his own thoughts, you met Him
                           Retiring gently into the serene everyday Sun
                               Of his “late thoughts” poetry came to mind
                                  Salvation was to be sought- but amensia was permanent
                                            For Him, your unique past could never exist

                                                     For you were indeed just a number, 
                                                         Within a number, his thoughts couldn't locate
                                                                 Within the black forest of his past.
So you left us,
                        The grief too much for one
                                                                   Who has seen too much

                                                                                For one
                                                                            Who has being to much
                                                                                           There can be no going back
                                                                                                        For that one
                                                                                                             Who left us
                                                                                                    That fine Summer’s day
                                                                                            Not far from the banks of the eternal Sein.