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Death Fugue

Paul Celan

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bad translation
2003-12-08
Added by: Adrian
This is my favorite holocaust poem I've ever read, but this is not one of the better translations. "We drink black milk at daybreak" is a powerfully vivid metaphor and it slays me every time I begin this piece. Definitely one of the greatest opening lines ever written.
Todesfugue
2004-01-03
Added by: Eth
Paul Celan is one of my favourite poets ever. The rhythm is is so haunting along with the images it paints. It's cutting and blunt and it weaves through your mind the entire time you're reading it.
2005-05-29
Added by: marianne
It's a great poem, it makes me see the holocaust in a different way--it doesn't say "War is Bad" and "People Die" like alot of other war poems (although this might just be because those are written by school-kids). It's really haunting and it seems to go like a stream of thought; it often strays, like for example, "your golden hair Margrete" and "your ashen hair Sulamith" as if he is a prisoner thinking of his loved ones, but it always reverts to the present (ie. the prison he is in).
There is alot of repetition but each time the lines are repeated they are altered, I find this interesting, does anyone know what the purpose of this is?
Another thing that interests me is how "man plays with the serpents he writes"--is he talking about himself here?

Here's a point that may interest some folks out there: Paul Celan committed suicide in the year 1970 by jumping into a river.

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