I know your heart, that crowded solitude where old uprooted loves are crammed into a roaring forge: — Charles Baudelaire, from “Sad Madrigal,” Fleurs du mal / Flowers of Evil. (Published by Auguste Poulet-Malassis 1857)
I am in love, that’s enough: I feel generous, holy, human, trembling, — Jules Laforgue, “Thunderbolt,” trans. by William Jay Smith, Poems of Jules Laforgue. (Carcanet Press Ltd.; Revised edition, June 1, 2004) Originally published September 28th 1986.
Forgotten things grasped at things to be forgotten… — Paul Celan, from “Pain, the Syllable,” Paul Celan: Glottal Stop, 101 Poems, translated by Nikolai Popov and Heather McHugh (Hanover and London: WesleyanUniversity Press, 2000).
On foot I had to cross the solar system before I found the first thread of my red dress. I sense myself already. Somewhere in space hangs my heart, shaking in the void, from it stream sparks into other intemperate hearts.” — Edith Södergran, “On Foot I Had to Cross the Solar System,” Forbidden Love… Continue reading Edith Södergran
I am the wound and the knife! I am the slap and the cheek! I am the limbs and the rack, And the victim and the executioner! I am the vampire of my own heart. — Charles Baudelaire, from “The Self-Tormentor,” Fleurs du mal / Flowers of Evil. (Published by Auguste Poulet-Malassis 1857)
The Death of Apollinaire (La Mort de Guillaume Apollinaire) We know nothing We know nothing of grief The bitter season of cold Ploughs long furrows in our muscles He would have rather enjoyed delight in victory We wise beneath calm sorrows caged Unable to do a thing If the snow… Continue reading Tristan Tzara
A poem, being an instance of language, hence essentially dialogue, may be a letter in a bottle thrown out to the sea with the—surely not always strong—hope that it may somehow wash up somewhere, perhaps on the shoreline of the heart. In this way, too, poems are en route: they are headed towards. Toward what?… Continue reading Paul Celan