Paul Celan, notes on the encounter | Bebrowed’s Blog

      SO MANY CONSTELLATIONS that
      are held out to us. I was,
      when I looked at you- when? -
      outside by
      the other worlds

      O these ways, galactic,
      O this hour, that weighed
      nights for us over into
      the burden of our names. It is,
      I know, not true
      that we lived, there moved,
      blindly, no more than a breath between
      there and not-there, and at times
      our eyes whirred comet-like
      towards things extinguished, in chasms,
      and where they had burnt out,
      splendid with teats stood Time
      on which already grew up
      and down and away all that
      on which already grew up
      is or was or will be-,

      I know,
      I know and you know, we knew,
      we did not know, we
      were there, after all, and not there
      and at times when 
      only the void stood between us we got
      all the way to each other.

– Paul Celan

‘Soviel Gestirne’ form the ‘Die Niemandsrose’ collection in 1963, Michael Hamburger translation

The notion of encounter is a key part of the Meridian address and a major theme in Celan’s later work. It’s also quite complex so I’ll start with its use in the Meridian speech and…

Source: Paul Celan, notes on the encounter | Bebrowed’s Blog

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