Paul Celan by the Seine
This unavoidable speechlessness: alone, in a foreign land. Alas, “winter warms us.” This impossible supineness: a dead man floats over the Seine.
Paul Celan drinks the Seine to his heart’s content. The more he drinks, the thirstier he becomes. From partial darkness to the full: he drinks away the root of the last word.
The purest go for death the earliest. Resistance off the map—you, glorious deserter, abandoned the concentration camp, the youth, the laughable Nazis. You returned all the shame to the Jews and they wandered still, were beaten and sought salvation.
Afloat, from the Seine to Jordan, from Paris to Jerusalem. Paul Celan drinks with his eyes, drinks in his own inventive ways. Alone, he drinks the two rivers from heaven and hell.
His eyes open in our eyes. “When God asks me to drink,” he says.
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