Wednesday, 24 September 2008

paul celan

Mit wechselndem Schlüssel

Mit wechselndem Schlüssel
schliesst du das Haus auf, darin
der Schnee des Verschwiegenen treibt.
Je nach dem Blut, das dir quillt
aus Aug oder Mund oder Ohr,
wechselt dein Schlüssel.

Wechselt dein Schlüssel, wechselt das Wort,
das treiben darf mit den Flocken.
Je nach dem Wind, der dich fortstösst,
ballt um das Wort sich der Schnee.

With a variable key

With a variable key
you unlock the house in which
drifts the snow of that left unspoken.
Always that key you choose
depends on the blood that spurts
from your eye or your mouth or your ear.

You vary the key, you vary the word
that is free to drift with the flakes.
What snow ball will form round the word
depends on the wind that rebuffs you.

trans michael hamburger

for roxana, who has another version of this, along with yet more entrancing images, here


Sorlil said...

hmmm. slightly disconcerting to click on three blogs and find the same poem in the latest post on all three of them! perhaps it's time to dig out Celan once again

Roxana said...

swiss, thank you for linking my post here! :-) I like this so much, this connectedness, when things like these happen, exactly as sorlil says (it happened with Rilke some time ago :-). I should have linked James's translation on his blog, I forget it last night, now I have corrected it. take a look if you have time, he's got a very detalied explanation about his translation choices, and he also compares Felstiner's and Hamburgers's translations.