Monday, January 23, 2006

Paul Celan

He is one of my favorite poets. He was in a Nazi labor camp, his parents were murdered by Nazis and he killed himself in 1970. What more disaster could possibly befall a person? But his poetry is so incredibly beautiful and concise. Sometimes I like to read them in the studio because they focus me - my thoughts and my feelings - into condensed, purposeful action. They always do the trick, when I remember to read them, that is. Just thought I would share a few:

let the dwarf-sounds in,
they have been examined:
together they muffle up the great heart
and bear it off on their shoulders to
every distress, every distress.

THE CORDON OF DOVES cut through,
the blasted
powers of blossoms,

charged with misdeed
the sought-for-thing, soul.

DREAM-DRIVEN on the cir-
cular track,

two masks for one,
the dust of planets in hollowed

nightblind, dayblind,

the poppy-capsule within you
goes down somewhere,
a fellow star,

the swimming domain of sorrow
records another shadow,

it all does you good,

the heartstone thrusts through its fan,
no cooling
at all,

it all does you good,

you sail, smoulder, and die down,
swarms of eyes pass the straits,
a blood clot enters the track,
swarms of earth encourage you,

all the weather in the universe
is harvesting.


martin said...


Mountain Man! I wrote the beginning of a Paul Celan poem, Todesfugue, on one of my pieces once -

black milk of daybreak
we drink it in the morning
we drink it at noon
we drink it at night
we drink and we drink

something like that, i changed it.

happy belated birthday to the Mountain Man!!!

split Second said...

there is a forever in you...

krixfort said...

Hi MM! your blog is working for me okay. Maybe it was a hiccup in the ether.

Mountain Man said...

Martin!!!! I am glad you know his writing. He is so great, I can barely stand it.

Now the blogs are working for me again. I was going into serious withdrawal, I couldn't get to them. Pant, pant, pant.

I am off to teach "Drawing Studies" now in my hometown Philly. I had them do life-size self portraits for the first assignment. Might be a weird idea to start out with a big crit but too late now!!!!! I don't know what I'm doing but they don't know that.....yet!!!!!!!!!

Mountain Man said...

I always get nervous before I go. But it's not as bad as last semester, in so far as I am now able to eat the day before.

krixfort said...

please report back on your client's progress MM and have fun!

Heart As Arena said...

First of all. Paul Celan. Word. I remember exactly where I was the first time I heard his work. Oh, my.

Secondly, MM. I have an idea and it's not going away, and it's too long to go into here. Gimme a heller (that's the email equivalent of a "holler") at

Heart As Arena said...

Oh, and it doesn't involve Amway or The Forum.

Magix Man said...

Thanks for the tip. I am not well versed in poetry, but would like to be.

Magix is my game.

sloth said...

Beauteousness, mm...

Dancing on the Moon said...

I love everything. Everything. Paul Celan, people of the night, and dancers for charity.

Corny said...

the part about the poppy-capsule within you going down somewhere,
woah. Devistating.
My poppy-capsule wants me to step away from the key-board...

mountain man said...

Mine too. Mine wants me to get some bitch ass work done.