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
If the birds were among us to be mirrored In the tranquil lake above our heads WE MIGHT UNDERSTAND Death would be a long and beautiful voyage And an endless holiday for the flesh for structure for bone — Tristan Tzara, from “The Death of Apollinaire (La Mort de Guillaume Apollinaire),” (1919) The… Continue reading Tristan Tzara
The Desire To Paint Unhappy perhaps is the man, but happy the artist, who is torn with this desire. I burn to paint a certain woman who has appeared to me so rarely, and so swiftly fled away, like some beautiful, regrettable thing the traveller must leave behind him in the night. It is already… Continue reading Charles Baudelaire