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Old 11-10-2016   #561
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Re: Dark Poetry

Re., ""The sea-shell" by Osip Mandelshtam (James Greene transl.)"

Wow, this really moved me - thank you, Strength!
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Old 12-08-2016   #562
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Re: Dark Poetry

The supreme masters of Dark Poetry have to be the German lyric poets and I imagine most German readers would pick this as the darkest of dark German poetry. It is, of course, Celan's Holocaust poem Todesfuge. John Felstiner's translation of it into English is widely considered a masterpiece of translation.

Deathfugue
 
Black milk of daybreak we drink it at evening
we drink it at midday and morning we drink it at night
we drink and we drink
we shovel a grave in the air there you won't lie too cramped
A man lives in the house he plays with his vipers he writes
he writes when it grows dark to Deutschland your golden hair Margareta
he writes it and steps out of doors and the stars are all sparkling, he whistles his hounds to come close
he whistles his Jews into rows has them shovel a grave in the ground
he commands us to play up for the dance.
Black milk of daybreak we drink you at night
we drink you at morning and midday we drink you at evening
we drink and we drink
A man lives in the house he plays with his vipers he writes
he writes when it grows dark to Deutschland your golden hair Margareta
Your ashen hair Shulamith we shovel a grave in the air there you won't lie too cramped
He shouts jab the earth deeper you lot there you others sing up and play
he grabs for the rod in his belt he swings it his eyes are so blue
jab your spades deeper you lot there you others play on for the dancing
Black milk of daybreak we drink you at night
we drink you at midday and morning we drink you at evening
we drink and we drink
a man lives in the house your goldenes Haar Margareta
your aschenes Haar Shulamith he plays his vipers
He shouts play death more sweetly this Death is a master from Deutschland
he shouts scrape your strings darker you'll rise then as smoke to the sky
you'll have a grave then in the clouds there you won't lie too cramped
Black milk of daybreak we drink you at night
we drink you at midday Death is a master aus Deutschland
we drink you at evening and morning we drink and we drink
this Death is ein Meister aus Deutschland his eye it is blue
he shoots you with shot made of lead shoots you level and true
a man lives in the house your goldenes Haar Margarete
he looses his hounds on us grants us a grave in the air
he plays with his vipers and daydreams der Tod ist ein Meister aus Deutschland
dein goldenes Haar Margarete
dein aschenes Haar Shulamith

Here's Celan reading -- he actually slips up in the reading at one point -- the German original.

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #563
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Re: Dark Poetry

This isn't 'dark poetry', but I wanted to recommend the movie Paterson to people who enjoy poetry. Written and directed by Jim Jarmusch, who is a favorite of mine.

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