temporary Belarusian poet known for her heart-rending performances, believes “a translation should be a new poem. My favourite saying about translation is that Poetry translations are like men—when they’re beautiful, they’re unfaithful. You have to choose the beautiful poems, or faithful poems...and of course the best is [if] you can merge beautiful and faithful as close[ly] as you can. But if you cannot, it’s better to make it beautiful.” There is mystery, as well as openness, in Celan’s work; deliberateness in each painful stroke, demanding the reader to take the initiative and apply his or her keen imagination to identify with the intricacies in the images presented. Celan’s poetry is indeed beautiful, as their translations are faithful; his poetry demands a special kind of attention as well as faith in the authenticity of what it contains. Indulge yourselves in the original version of this poem in German among Celan’s beautiful collection (translations by Michael Hamburger), Poems of Paul Celan (Persea Books, 2002). For further translated gems, I highly recommend: Czeslaw Milosz, Rainer Marie Rilke, Vera Pavlova, Lorna Dee Cervantes, Cesare Pavese, Roberto Bolaño, Octavio Paz, Anna Akhmatova, Charles Baudelaire, Maria Tsvetaeva, Boris Pasternak, Zbigniew Herbert, Adam Zagajewski, Arthur Rimbaud, amongst others...
LES GLOBES by Paul Celan In the eyes all awry—read there: the sun, the heart orbits, the whizzing, lovely In Vain. The deaths and all that to which they gave birth. The chain of generations that lies buried here and hangs here still, in the aether, and borders abysses. All the script on those faces into which whirring word-sand drilled itself - tiny eternities, syllables. All things, even the heaviest, were fledged, nothing held back.
Transcendent Series #3, Yukiyo Kawano P at h o s • w i n t e r 2 0 1 0
Pathos Literary Magazine is a student published magazine originating out of Portland State University.